Dec. 7, 2001
UCLA head football coach Bob Toledo is looking forward to the 2002 season, which begins nine months from today (Sept. 7) when the Bruins host Colorado State in the Rose Bowl.
One of just two coaches in the Pac-10 to win two league titles in the last five years, Toledo has compiled a record of 42-27 as the Bruin head coach. In the last two years, the Bruins have defeated intersectional foes Alabama (twice), Michigan and Ohio State.
In 2002, the Bruins host Colorado State and Big 12 champion Colorado (Sept. 21) and visit Oklahoma State (Sept. 14), who defeated defending national champion Oklahoma late last month, and San Diego State (Sept. 28) in a rare 12-game schedule. UCLA will play six games at home and six on the road. For ticket information, contact the UCLA Central Ticket Office at 310/UCLA-WIN.
Although the Bruins lose 23 seniors from this season's team, there is a solid nucleus for success in 2002.
On defense, the Bruins return All-Pac-10 performers Ricky Manning, Jr. at cornerback and Rodney Leisle at tackle, plus talented freshman Matt Ware, who will play either cornerback or safety, linebackers Marcus Reese and Brandon Chillar, defensive end Dave Ball, Mat Ball, who will return to defensive end after playing linebacker this past season, safety Ben Emanuel and numerous talented youngsters and veterans who gained valuable experience in 2001.
Offensively, the Bruins will build around wide receivers Craig Bragg, the first freshman to lead the team in receiving since Danny Farmer in 1996, Tab Perry and Ryan Smith, tailbacks Akil Harris and Manuel White, tight end Mike Seidman, quarterbacks Cory Paus and Ryan McCann, and four starters on the offensive line, including two of the nation's best tackles in Mike Saffer and Bryce Bohlander and guards Eyoseph Efseaff and Steven Vieira.
In addition, UCLA is assembling another outstanding recruiting class. The Bruins already have 17 commitments and plan to sign the full complement of 25 high school seniors and will also add some mid-year players.
"I am excited about our future," says Toledo. "We have a great nucleus of players in our program. We will miss our seniors, but we have many talented youngsters who are ready to show our fans what they can do.
"For the next two months, our number one priority is recruiting. We are working hard to sign another outstanding group of recruits. We are off to a great start and we will stay at it through the letter-of-intent signing date in February."
Toledo, who has a seven-year contract, has the full support of the University administration.
"Bob Toledo is UCLA's head football coach, and I expect him to remain in that position," says Chancellor Albert Carnesale. "He is committed to ensuring the integrity, both real and perceived, of our football program, and to achieving a high level of performance on the field."
"I concur with Chancellor Carnesale's position regarding the characteristics inherent in being the head coach at UCLA," said UCLA Director of Athletics Peter Dalis. "I have the highest regard for Bob Toledo as the head of the UCLA football program."
2002 UCLA FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Sept. 7 Colorado State
Sept. 14 at Oklahoma State
Sept. 21 Colorado
Sept. 28 at San Diego State
Oct. 5 at Oregon State
Oct. 12 Oregon
Oct. 19 at California
Oct. 26 Stanford
Nov. 2 at Washington
Nov. 9 at Arizona
Nov. 16 Washington State
Nov. 23 USC