By Brady Henderson
Scratch Jim Mora’s name off the list of potential Husky head coaches.
UCLA announced a six-year contract extension with Mora on Tuesday, a day after Steve Sarkisian’s departure to USC left Washington in search of a replacement. It won’t be Mora, who had previously expressed interest in coaching at his alma mater but has turned down the opportunity to instead stay at UCLA.
“I want to thank (athletic director) Dan Guerrero and Chancellor Gene Block for their tremendous support,” Mora said in the school’s press release. “This further commitment the University has made is crucial as we continue in our pursuit of excellence. From day one our goal has been to win championships, and with our tremendous staff, our incredible student-athletes and our dedicated administration, UCLA will win championships.
“We’ve only just scratched the surface of our potential, and as a Bruin fan, I’d be chomping at the bit just to see what UCLA football is going to do next.”
Mora was considered a leading candidate and perhaps even Washington’s top choice to replace Sarkisian given his ties to the program and the area. He attended high school in Bellevue before walking on at Washington and then serving as a graduate assistant under coach Don James. He even once publicly described it as his dream job, saying during a 2006 radio interview that he would leave his job as the Falcons’ coach if there was ever an opening at Washington. Mora apologized for those comments, saying they were only a joke.
Mora spent three seasons on the Seahawks’ staff, including one as Seattle’s head coach, and is in his second season at UCLA, which has won 18 games in that span and has a bowl game remaining.
“Jim Mora has established himself as one of the preeminent coaches in all of college football,” Guerrero said in the press release. “Under his guidance, UCLA football has garnered national recognition for its success on the field, in the classroom and in the community.
“We are excited about the commitment Jim has made to our student-athletes and this University and feel this extension further demonstrates UCLA’s commitment to building a championship-caliber football program.”
Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.