The UCLA parted ways with Jim Mora, its coach for the last six seasons, after the Bruins failed to defeat rival Southern California for the third consecutive year.
Mora is leaving the program with a winning record as he accumulated 46 wins against 30 losses during his tenure. This year, however, the team struggled as it won only five in 11 games.
In a statement, UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero said that it’s a difficult decision they had to make especially in the middle of the season. He credited Mora for giving their team an identity and making sure the program was successful during his stay there.
However, Guerrero said they had to make a change considering the disappointing recent two seasons by the UCLA football team under the leadership of their coach.
“We thank Jim and his family for his service to our school and his unquestionable commitment to our student-athletes,” the statement read.
Mora, for his part, thanked the school for giving him a chance to coach the Bruins.
“Coaching student-athletes at UCLA has been the most rewarding experience of my career, and I know the future is bright for the program,” he said. “Again, thank you for the opportunity to be the head football coach at UCLA. It has truly been an honor.”
In June last year, Mora signed a two-year extension with UCLA, which would be good until the 2019 season.
According to the survey by USA Today, Mora is among the top-25 coaches in the NCAA with a salary of $3.55 million this year. His salary is not even a quarter of the salary of the top-earning coach, Nick Saban, who earns more than $11 million this season. The estimated school buyout to end the contract for the 56-year-old would be worth $12.275 million.