UCLA Coach Jim Mora has 19 wins during his first two seasons as head coach, a better start than any other Bruins coach. He has NFL experience, and was linked to job openings repeatedly this summer.
But according to Mora, he’s not thinking about a move any time soon.
“I love it there, and I don't want to go anywhere,” Mora said Thursday at Pac-12 media day. “It's home now. I want to see us build something special.”
This season, UCLA was picked to win the Pac-12 South division in the preseason media poll, partly because the Bruins have Heisman hopeful Brent Hundley at quarterback as part of an explosive offense. On Thursday, Mora explained that his commitment to UCLA is tied into his commitment to his players.
“Probably most importantly I'm committed to our players,” Mora said. “We go recruit these kids, go into their homes and talk to their parents, and we ask them to commit to us. We see coaches run out on them, and I don't think that's right. We sit in our meeting rooms and talk to our kids about being selfless and sacrifice and putting a team first. Then you see coaches when the first opportunity comes up to take off and better their situation, they run and do it and leave these kids behind with these, to me, empty lessons. And that's not who I want to be.”
After a 5-11 campaign in his first and only season as the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, Mora was hired by UCLA in 2011. The reason he’s committed to the Bruins, he says, is because they hired him when his resume was at its low point.
“Dan Guerrero went out on a limb when he hired me," Mora said. "Let's not kid anybody. I wasn't the most popular hire in the history of college sports, I can promise you that. He showed a real faith in me, and I appreciate that. I'm a little person. I love it there. UCLA, where else are you going to go? Everyone could argue, well, you could go here or here. Well, for me, this is the place I want to be.”
He added: “I'm staying there until they kick me out. That might be tomorrow, who knows. I've been kicked out before. But I'm staying until they kick me out.”