Rick Neuheisel makes unusual statement for a head coach

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If you follow our site, you probably know by now that we don’t enjoy the media discussing the proverbial “hot seat” with coaches. It may be entertaining to some of you, but as soon as, say Mark May for example, talks about Neuheisel having to win six or seven games to keep his job, that's when we are changing the channel.

It’s mid-July and officially, we are now pulling for Rick Neuheisel as much as any coach in the country. August camp hasn’t even begun and Neuheisel is facing questions regarding his future as the head coach of the UCLA Bruins.

You don’t usually see this kind of statement from a head coach, but Neuheisel admitted yesterday that he needs to win at least half of his games this season and play in a bowl game in order to keep his job.

Neuheisel told the LA Times, “I hate talking like that, but, as an alumni, I would say absolutely yes. At the end of the day, I am responsible for this program."

"Obviously, I've had a number of conversations like, 'Hey, you're on the hot seat, you're the No. 1 guy on the hot seat.'"

In his first three seasons at UCLA, Neuheisel had led his alma mater to final records of 4-8, 7-6, and 4-8.

"I've done this before; I believe I can do it again. I just need to get it done," said Neuheisel.

In order to kick-start the program, Neuheisel made sweeping changes to his coaching staff in the off-season. Mike Johnson has replaced Norm Chow as offensive coordinator. Joe Tresey has replaced Chuck Bullough as defensive coordinator. Inoke Breckterfield (defensive line) and Jim Mastro (tight ends / f-backs) joined the staff, while Angus McClure has replaced Frank Gansz Jr. as special teams coordinator.

The Bruins open at Houston before hosting San Jose State and Texas. The four PAC-12 home games include Wazzu, Cal, Arizona State, and Colorado.