According to a tweet by ESPN's Joe Schad, Rick Neuheisel will not return as the head football coach at UCLA next season. Neuheisel will coach the Pac 12 championship game against Oregon on Friday.
There was plenty of speculation that Neuheisel was in his final days as coach, including this L.A. Times piece by Chris Foster that spoke of it soon becoming a reality.
That reality is here now and Neuheisel couldn't do much about it. During his four seasons with the team, he led them to a 21-28 record, including a 3-25 record against teams that finished with a winning record. In UCLA's press release about the firing, Director of Athletics Dan Guerrero spoke on the decision.
"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. However, it is apparent to me that a move was necessary at this time in order to give UCLA the best chance to enjoy the success that we all desire."
In a recent piece by the Associated Press, Neuheisel spoke as to why he thought he deserved to keep his job.
"I was told we needed to move the needle, and if the needle moved, that we'd be fine. I'd get to continue along my five years of my five-year contract. We have won five conference games, as opposed to three last year. We have won the right to represent the South in the conference championship. We have certainly had some unfortunate evenings where things haven't gone our way, but I think the program is headed in the right direction."
It wasn't enough.