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The Sports Report: Does anyone want to be an athletic director?

UCLA Introduce Mick Cronin
Dan Guerrero
(Jayne Kamin-Oncea / Getty Images)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

UCLA

Athletic director Dan Guerrero announced Thursday that he will retire at the end of June, 2020.

Guerrero, 67, called his retirement decision “bittersweet” in a statement released by UCLA, noting that it was sparked largely by his recently having overcome an undisclosed form of cancer and the arrival of a second granddaughter.

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“For these reasons, it is time for me to step aside and for UCLA athletics to flourish under new leadership while I focus on my health and on my family,” Guerrero said in the statement. “In the remaining year ahead, we still have a great deal of work to do and championships to win, and I look forward to every minute of it.”

A professional search firm contracted by UCLA will commence a national search for Guerrero’s replacement.

Fresno State athletic director Terry Tumey, a former All-Pac 10 Conference nose guard who played on the Bruins’ last team to win the Rose Bowl in 1986, is widely considered among the front-runners to become Guerrero’s successor. Other candidates could include Utah athletic director Mark Harlan, a former UCLA senior associate athletic director for external relations, and Josh Rebholz, the Bruins’ current senior associate athletic director for external relations.

The Bruins have won 32 NCAA championships under Guerrero, the most by any school under its current athletic director. UCLA has also vastly enhanced its facilities and fundraising efforts in recent years while experiencing less favorable results in football and men’s basketball.

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But UCLA has not won a Pac-12 Conference championship in football or appeared in a major bowl game during Guerrero’s tenure, and the school has not added to its record haul of 11 men’s basketball national championships.

The news means that UCLA and USC are both searching for new athletic directors at the moment.

USC FOOTBALL

In 2016, USC was 1-3 and all seemed hopeless. Then they won nine in row, including a victory in the Rose Bowl.

After last week’s loss to BYU, coach Clay Helton thought about that 2016 team.

“They’re going through some growing pains,” Helton said. “This is a team where, just like in 2016, if they stay the course, at the end of the year, they’re going to be a really good football team. Now, can they accomplish some things that that 2016 team did? We’ll see.”

They’ll start to see tonight, when the Trojans take on Utah.

USC FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

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All times Pacific. Radio: 790 KABC

at USC 31, Fresno State 23

at USC 45, Stanford 20

at BYU 30, USC 27 (OT)

Tonight vs. Utah, 6 p.m., FS1

Sept. 28 at Washington, 12:30 p.m., Fox

Oct. 12 at Notre Dame, 4:30 p.m. NBC

Oct. 19 vs. Arizona, TBD

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Oct. 25 at Colorado, 6 p.m., ESPN2

Nov. 2 vs. Oregon, TBD

Nov. 9 at Arizona State, TBD

Nov. 16 at California, TBD

Nov. 23 vs. UCLA, TBD

UCLA FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

All times Pacific. Radio: AM 1150

at Cincinnati 24, UCLA 14

San Diego State 23, at UCLA 14

Oklahoma 48. at UCLA 14

Saturday at Washington State, 7:30 p.m., ESPN

Sept. 28 at Arizona, 7:30 p.m., ESPN

Oct. 5 vs. Oregon State, TBD

Oct. 17 at Stanford, 6 p.m., ESPN

Oct. 26 vs. Arizona State, TBD

Nov. 2 vs. Colorado, TBD

Nov. 16 at Utah, TBD

Nov. 23 at USC, TBD

Nov. 30 vs. California, TBD

SPARKS

Connecticut’s dominance on the boards turned the tide and the Sun rolled to a 94-68 victory Thursday over the Sparks and a 2-0 series lead in the WNBA semifinals at Mohegan Sun Arena.

“One game at a time,” said Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike, who led the team with 18 points and seven rebounds. “We were going to play a Game 3 anyway, so we just have to win Game 3.”

Game 3 is at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Pyramid at Long Beach State.

“It’s important to view Game 3 as just Game 3,” Spakrs coach Derek Fisher said. “The results in Game 1 and 2 have no relevance to how you play in Game 3.”

SPARKS PLAYOFF SCHEDULE

All times Pacific. All games on ESPN2

at Connecticut 84, Sparks 75

at Connecticut 94, Sparks 68

Game 3: Sunday at Sparks (at Long Beach State), 4 p.m.

Game 4*: Tuesday at Sparks, TBD

Game 5*: Thursday at Connecticut, TBD

*-if necessary

THURSDAY’S NFL RESULT

at Jacksonville 20, Tennessee 7

Read all about it here

ANGELS

Left-hander Andrew Heaney was charged six runs in five-plus innings at Yankee Stadium on Thursday night. Three scored on one swing from D.J. LeMahieu, one of the league’s top hitters, in the second inning. Brett Gardner’s solo home run added a fourth.

The Angels had spoiled the New York Yankees’ chances of clinching the American League East title not 24 hours earlier. They could not delay the inevitable a second day. They lost 9-1, yielding to the Yankees’ first division championship since 2012.

YOUR FAVORITE SPORTS MOMENT

What is your favorite all-time L.A. sports moment? Email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com and tell me what it is and why and it could appear in a future daily sports newsletter or Morning Briefing.

This moment comes from Michael Walker of Newbury Park:

“On Aug. 29, 1986, two days before my wedding, my buddies and brothers took me to the Big A to see the Angels play Sparky Anderson’s Detroit Tigers as a sort of bachelors’ party. Right up my alley: Baseball, beer and good buddies. After 8½ innings, the beer and the buddies had been good, but not the baseball. The Angels trailed 12-5 going into the bottom of the ninth.

“My buddies and I were about the only folks left at the stadium, other than the players. After one out, the Angels proceeded to score four runs, making it 12-9. Then, with two outs, they loaded the bases, putting the winning run at the plate in the form of the ninth-place hitter, Dick Schofield. After two pitches, two strikes (or so my memory tells me). And then ... ‘slugger’ Dick Schofield hit a walk-off grand slam, capping an eight-run, bottom-of-the-ninth comeback by the Angels.

“And two days later, I had my walk-off wedding.”

TODAY’S LOCAL MAJOR SPORTS SCHEDULE

All times Pacific

Colorado at Dodgers, 7 p.m., Sportsnet LA, AM 570

Angels at Houston, 5 p.m., FSW, AM 830

Utah at USC, 6 p.m., FS1, 790 KABC

BORN ON THIS DATE

1917: NBA coach Red Auerbach (d. 2006)

1938: Baseball player Tom Tresh (d. 2008)

1951: NHL player Guy Lafleur

1967: NFL player Marvin Harrison

1975: Race car driver Juan Pablo Montoya

AND FINALLY

The NHL pays tribute to Guy Lafleur. Watch it here.

That concludes the newsletter for today. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, please email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com. If you want to subscribe, click here.


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