Dec. 13, 2011
Executive Vice Chancellor, Provost Scott Waugh
"Good afternoon everybody and welcome to UCLA. I'm the executive vice chancellor and provost Scott Waugh. Today's special occasion, we welcome a new member to the Bruin family, a new leader to the Bruin community. Unfortunately, our chancellor, Chancellor Block, is unable to join us today. He had previously scheduled business in Japan and China and is travelling. But, before he left he had a chance to interview Coach Mora and gave him his complete blessing to Dan. He gave Dan his complete support and blessing and he relayed to me his very positive feelings coming out of that meeting, so I am very pleased to represent the Chancellor here today at this wonderful occasion. So without further ado, I would like to introduce our superb athletic director, Dan Guerrero. Thanks Dan."
UCLA Director of Athletics Dan Guerrero
"Thank you Scott. It indeed is a joy to be here. It's quite a wonderful day today for all of the Bruin family. I would like to thank you for those very special words on behalf of the Chancellor. I want to not only welcome Jim to the family, but also Jim's family. Shannon and Ryder and Trey, two of his four children who are with us today. Lillia and Cole are back home going to school but you'll see a lot of them in the coming days and weeks.
"When I last addressed the media, it was about two weeks ago to the day. We talked about the need to go far and wide to look for our next head football coach. In fact, we did that, and we found our man in Seattle. In getting to know Jim during the process, it became very clear to us that we had a special individual here. We had the opportunity to speak to many people in the football world who had the pleasure of crossing paths with Jim along the way - individuals that worked with him, individuals that worked for him and individuals that played with him. And to the person, they talk about the fact that he is a leader of men, that he is a terrific football coach and that he was the right person for us to hire, to move our program to Pac-12 and obviously BCS championship caliber program.
"I know that Jim is a very disciplined individual, very motivated, and brings a lot to the table from that standpoint, something that we were really looking for in this program. Without further ado, I can tell you that on behalf of everyone here at the UCLA family, it's a delight to have Jim and his family here with us. We know that he's going to do a great job as our 17th head football coach here at UCLA. Ladies and gentlemen, our head football coach Jim Mora."
UCLA head coach Jim Mora
"I just want to say how honored and humbled I am that Chancellor Block and Dan Guerrero have selected me to be the head football coach here at UCLA. I also want to recognize my beautiful wife Shannon and my two youngest kids, Trey and Rider, and just tell you how excited all of us are to be a part of the Bruin community. Behind every coach, there is a tremendous woman, and I am very lucky to have that in my wife of 19 years, Shannon. Thanks for being here.
"Our objective here is simple. And that is to make Bruin fans proud of their football team. It has been a tough decade for UCLA football. This is a program that has always represented academic and athletic excellence. And I look forward to the challenge of returning this football team to prominence. I'm going to work hard to assemble the finest football staff, coaching staff, in college football. I want guys that are great coaches, great recruiters, great mentors for our young student-athletes. We are going to fill this team with student-athletes who will be winners both on the field and in the classroom. We will look for great players, for great competitors, who love to play football, who are mentally and physically tough, we are going to put them with coaches that I just mentioned, that love to coach, that love to compete, that want to mentor our young people. And we're going to go try and win a bunch of football games. I don't want to stand up here today, my first day, and make any bold predictions or outlandish statements. We'll let our actions going forward speak for us. But I will say this, our objective is and always will be to win Pac-12 Championships and compete for the national championship. And with that, I will take your questions."
Answers to questions from members of the media
on what changes have to be made going forward
"I think it's a little early right now to talk right now about what changes need to be made. I think what's important in getting here is to evaluate all aspects of our football program, and we'll determine which way to move from there."
on the deciding factor for his decision to come to UCLA
"This is a proud institution. It's an outstanding academic institution. I'd say that it's a sleeping giant in college football. I was on this campus when I was a young man and my dad coached here with Dick Vermeil. So, I had some familiarity with this program. I've been a Pac-12, Pac-10, Pac-8 guy for most of my life. I've always felt that this was a program, a university, that you could build into a special place. A place where you can win with consistency, where you can win doing it the right way, with kids that are not only committed to being great football players and great athletes, but also great students and great leaders in our community. And so that was very, very appealing to me. This was the job that I wanted, and I was fortunate to get this job."
on how his NFL coaching experience will help him as UCLA's head coach
"I think that my experiences in the National Football League can help me in a number of ways. I've been very fortunate to be around some of the finest football players in the history of the game. Whether it was coaching them or working with them or just being around guys like Dan Fouts, in my earlier years, Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott when I was with the 49ers. I didn't coach them, but they had always been around the organization. Michael Irvin and Marshall Faulk, guys like that. I think the experience that I've been able to garner from being around those types of men, I have an understanding of what it takes to be a good football player, and I think that I can impart that into our student-athletes."
on recruiting in the Los Angeles area
"Number one, what's important to recognize is that this is an inviting place to go to school. This is an inviting place to live. This is a gorgeous campus. I had the opportunity today to walk around this campus for a few minutes - I've been pretty busy so I haven't been able to see it all. But, it's an inviting place to go to school. So I think that the school and the environment sells itself. That doesn't mean we won't sell it, because we will. But I think the opportunity to play in a great climate and in the Pac-12 and stay at home while doing it, in regards to the local athletes, is very inviting. Offering these kids a chance to play for a tremendous coaching staff - they will be very impressed by the coaching staff that we put together, and give them a chance to be a part of something new, of something fresh and something that's going to be special."
On having to recruit high school athletes
"It might be the thing that I'm most looking forward to right now, is getting out and getting into the homes, getting in front of the parents and getting in front of the kids. One of the things that was so appealing to me about coaching in college football was the ability to have an impact on a young man's life. And not only on the football field, but helping him become the person that you think he can become. I'm excited about going out and recruiting. I can't wait to get going. I plan on starting today. It will be a challenge. It will certainly be a challenge. But, it's something that I'm really looking forward to."
On learning from his father, former NFL head coach Jim Mora
"Thank you for the compliments about my dad. I concur with you. I think that he's a great coach but more than that I think he's a great guy. He has taught me a lot about integrity and respect for the game, honesty and I think our coaching styles are similar - very disciplined, hard-headed, passionate. We want toughness. We want discipline on our football team. I was very fortunate, not only to grow up in a household like I did, but I also had the opportunity to coach with my dad for five years in New Orleans. It was a tough experience but one of the greatest experiences of my life because I got to see up close what it was like to be a head coach not only at the office, but away from the game. I learned a lot about how to handle things that I think will help me going forward.
"He'll be the number one UCLA Bruin fan in Palm Desert, California. He and my mother will be at games, and I'm sure he'll be around practice. They're not here today. My mom graduated from USC, my dad got his master's from USC, and they are 100 percent UCLA Bruins, 100 percent."