Word From Westwood - December 13, 2011

Dec. 13, 2011

Word From Westwood by Dan Guerrero

Word From Westwood - Deliver to Inbox

Members of the Bruin Family:

It truly is a great time to be a Bruin!

After an exhaustive search process, we named Jim Mora as the 17th head football coach in UCLA history last Saturday, and we officially welcomed him and the rest of the Mora family to the Bruin family this afternoon with a news conference at the Morgan Center.

I’ve had the opportunity to get to know Jim very well over the course of the last two weeks and I can confidently say to all of you that he is the best person to get us back to the place where UCLA football wants and deserves to be – in the upper echelon of the Pac-12 Conference and relevant on the national stage.

Jim is a no-nonsense, hard-nosed gentleman from a coaching family who will inspire our football student-athletes to be leaders, both on the field and in the classroom. In addition, everyone who knows Jim has said his dedication to his craft is second to none.

We look forward to seeing him lead our team, starting with 2012 spring practice, and we will continue to need the support of all of you for him personally, as well as for the football program.

While my staff and I were dedicating much of our time lately to the search for a head football coach, many of our fall Olympic sports teams have continued to enjoy elite status in their sports, and I would like to recognize them here:

• The men’s water polo team recently completed its impressive postseason run, including winning the MPSF championship and reaching the NCAA Championship match. Despite losing in that title game, the Bruins did us all proud, and congratulations are due to head coach Adam Wright, his assistant coaches, and all the student-athletes.

• The men’s soccer team won the Pac-12, going undefeated in conference play, and then put together three consecutive shutouts in the NCAA tournament before losing a heartbreaker to North Carolina on penalty kicks in the College Cup semifinals. It was a heart-wrenching way to have Jorge Salcedo and his side eliminated, but it didn’t diminish what they had accomplished.

• The women’s volleyball team will meet Florida State this Thursday in the national semifinals at the Alamodome in San Antonio. As the lone remaining fall sports team still alive for a national title, the entire Bruin family will be behind Michael Sealy and his student-athletes as they continue their quest for our 108th NCAA championship. You can watch the semifinal match LIVE Thursday at 4 pm (PT) on ESPN2, and should they defeat Florida State, the finals at 5:30 pm Saturday, also on the deuce.

By the way, UCLA is the only Division I university this year to have three of its fall teams compete in their respective national semifinal rounds – as always, it is a great time to be a Bruin.

Thank you for your continued support of UCLA Athletics.

Dan Guerrero
Director of Athletics, UCLA

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