Petersen reportedly UCLA’s first, top target

0 Comments

With the carcass of Rick Neuheisel‘s UCLA tenure not yet cold but still hurtling toward the final stages of rigor mortis, potential replacements for Pistol Rick have already begun to surface.

Houston’s Kevin Sumlin, Cincinnati’s Butch Jones and ex-Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach have all been mentioned as possibilities for the flailing football program.  So has Boise State’s Chris Petersen, who we — OK, I — feel simply will not happen based on myriad factors, including the perceived lack of commitment to football as evidenced by its subpar football facilities.

According to one report, however, the Bruins are still going to make a run at a coach who has consistently turned down high-profile opportunities over the past handful of seasons.

Citing influential people with knowledge of the situation, the Los Angeles Times reported late Monday afternoon that the Bruins have identified Petersen as the first coach the athletic department will target, with Guerrero set to take a trip to Boise to meet face-to-face with the Broncos coach.  The Times notes that the university would be prepared to provide annual compensation to Petersen in the neighborhood of $3 million, although that likely wouldn’t get his attention.  The following, though, just might:

Plans to refurbish the Bruins’ practice facility and a commitment of about $2 million for assistant coaches are expected to be part of the package, accord to one person close to the situation.

Again, there’s a general consensus among those in the college football know that, while Petersen may listen to Guerrero’s pitch, he would ultimately turn down whatever was presented.  However, addressing facilities and assistant salaries in a meaningful way would seemingly go a long way in maintaining Petersen’s interest, or at least more so than other opportunities that have arisen in the past.

In the end, though?  Expect Petersen to do to the Bruins what he’s done to them on at least one other occasion — “thanks, but no thanks.”

Once Petersen turns Guerrero down, the Bruins could then turn their attention to Sumlin and Jones, as well as, according to ESPNLosAngeles.com, former Oregon head coach Mike Bellotti and Tom Cable, the former Oakland Raiders head coach who is now a member of Pete Carroll‘s Seattle Seahawks’ coaching staff.