UCLA head football coach fired; will coach Pac-12 game


Neuheisel will lead the team against Oregon during Friday's Pac-12 championship game, the school announced, but the search for a permanent head coach will begin immediately.

Until a new head coach is found, offensive coordinator coach Mike Johnson will lead the Bruins on an interim basis.

"I have a great deal of respect for Rick Neuheisel and the manner in which he has run this program during his tenure as UCLA head football coach. Decisions such as this one do not come without a great deal of heartache," said UCLA Director of Athletics Dan Guerrero in a statement. "A move was necessary at this time in order to give UCLA the best chance to enjoy the success that we all desire."

Neuheisel is 21-28 since taking over the program in 2008, never building the momentum he needed to reach his goal of challenging Southern California for city supremacy. UCLA made it to just one bowl game in his first three seasons, winning the EagleBank Bowl in Washington, D.C., in 2009.

Bruins will represent the Pac-12 South in the inaugural league title game on Friday despite finishing two games behind postseason-banned USC in the division standings.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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