Latest on Football Coaching Search

UCLA Athletic Director is now in Las Vegas for the bowl game, but he's been busy this week with interviews for the football head coaching position. Here is a rundown on the latest concerning the leading candidates for the job, including a main candidate pulling out...

Here's the latest on the head football coaching search, done by candidate. Many other coaches were contacted in UCLA's search, but we're going to limit our reports to those who have had a second interview on campus or we've heard will likely:

-- Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Norm Chow has pulled out of consideration for the UCLA head coaching position.

In a statement, Chow said today: "I appreciate the interest UCLA has shown in me and the opportunity to speak with them about the head coaching position. While I was told that our meeting went very well, I was given no indication as to what their final decision will be, or what their time frame is to make that decision. Nevertheless, I have decided not to pursue things further with UCLA at this time. My focus is on the Tennessee Titans and preparing our team for a chance at the playoffs."

-- Chow bowing out makes Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Rick Neuheisel theleading candidate. Neheisel was on campus Tuesday for a second interview, this one with Chancellor Gene Block.

Apparently, Neuheisel's first interview with Athletic Director Dan Guerrero went very well.

Sources have told us that Neuheisel has indicated to people close to him that he would want to keep DeWayne Walker on as defensive coordinator.

There are still sources close to the program that firmly assert that UCLA will not hire Neuheisel because of his former transgressions with the NCAA as both the head coach at Colorado and Washington. Neuheisel, however, has gotten strong backing from a number of boosters, and it's unclear if that has been enough to consider Neuheisel as a serious candidate. He did, after all, interview with Block.

-- Al Golden, the head coach at Temple, reportedly had his second interview on campus Wednesday and met with Block.

-- DeWayne Walker has yet to have his second interview, as he prepares the team for the Las Vegas Bowl as interim coach. Walker has received interest from Washington as defensive coordinator and reportedly other programs, but sources tell us he'd prefer to stay at UCLA, even if he isn't hired as head coach. Last weekend, Walker told visiting recruits that he'd stay at UCLA if Norm Chow were hired.

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