|Ravens' Neuheisel quiet about UCLA job in his return to Seattle|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 23 December 2007 17:36|
Soon, Neuheisel's connection to UCLA could take on an entirely different look.
Neuheisel returned to Seattle on Sunday with the Ravens, and watched his offense stumble through a 27-6 loss to the Seahawks, the Ravens' ninth straight defeat.
However, his current affiliation with the Ravens was of little interest. Instead, it was his previous four-year stint as head coach at the University of Washington, and his current interest in the open head coaching job at UCLA that had Neuheisel fielding questions both on the field and in the locker room.
``I can't comment on that,'' Neuheisel said of UCLA's search for a new head coach. ``I've said I'm interested, but the important thing is they do what's best for them and I've certainly got things to concentrate on with our game against Pittsburgh.''
Neuheisel has been the rumored front-runner, especially with UCLA's failed attempt at luring Mike Belotti away from Oregon.
Still, Neuheisel can't escape his checkered past in Seattle, and was reminded again about the mix of admiration and loathing he created in just four years at Washington. Neuheisel went 33-16 with the Huskies, including four bowl trips and a Rose Bowl title.
As he walked off the field on Sunday afternoon, Neuheisel was greeted by a sign reading ``Thanks Rick. 4 Apple Cups. 1 Rose Bowl.''
Only 10 feet away, another fan screamed at the 46-year-old coach: ``You made the Huskies program worse...''
``I have fond memories of Seattle,'' Neuheisel said. ``A messy ending, an unfortunate ending, but I look forward to a day when we can put all that stuff behind us and we will be talking about the Huskies in the Rose Bowl ... and all good things.''
Neuheisel hasn't been in the college game since Washington fired him in 2003 for participating in a betting pool on the NCAA basketball tournament. He sued for wrongful termination and settled in March 2005 with UW and the NCAA for $4.5 million.
Neuheisel began his road back to coaching that fall as a volunteer assistant coaching quarterbacks at Seattle's Rainier Beach High School. Baltimore coach Brian Billick then hired him to be Baltimore's quarterbacks coach.
When asked Sunday if he's heard anything about Neuheisel leaving his staff, Billick said, ``I wouldn't know.''
Billick has strongly supported Neuheisel's efforts in landing a head coaching job. Earlier this week, Billick said that while Neuheisel is an excellent pro coach, his enthusiasm and affection is for the college game.
Neuheisel quarterbacked UCLA to a 45-9 victory over Illinois in the 1984 Rose Bowl. He was named MVP of the game and two of his four TD passes were caught by Karl Dorrell, the recently fired UCLA coach. Following four seasons as a Bruins assistant coach, Neuheisel was the head coach at Colorado for four seasons before becoming head coach at Washington in 1999.
``We had a great run in the four years I coached here. We had a lot of kids get a great college experience,'' Neuheisel said of his years at Washington. ``We went to a Rose Bowl and won it.
``I have no bad feelings at all about the job we did. It was just a very unfortunate ending where nobody really won. It was a sad ending to what otherwise was a very, very good time.''