Neuheisel fired as UCLA football coach

Rick Neuheisel has been fired as head 12 title game Friday at Oregon.

The school announced his firing Monday, two days after the Bruins suffered a demoralizing 50-0 loss to USC.

UCLA finished behind its city rival in the Pac-12 South, but will still play Oregon because of NCAA sanctions preventing the Trojans from competing beyond the regular season.

After the game, the Bruins will be coached an interim basis by offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach Mike Johnson. A national search for a permanent head coach will begin immediately, the school said.

Athletic director Dan Guerrero said in a statement he respects the way Neuheisel ran the program.

"Decisions such as this one do not come without a great deal of heartache," Guerrero said. "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."

Neuheisel, 50, was hired as head coach in December 2007 after spending the previous three years as an assistant coach for the NFL's Baltimore Ravens.

The former UCLA quarterback was the head coach at Colorado from 1995-98 and at Washington from 1999-2002. He currently has an 87-58 record as a collegiate coach, including a 6-6 mark this season.

His eight seasons at Colorado and Washington included trips to seven bowl games.

But his stint at Washington ended abruptly when he was fired after admitting to gambling $6,400 in two off-campus NCAA basketball tournament pools -- bets that netted him more than $17,000.

He sued the university for wrongful termination and the NCAA for interfering with the situation, eventually reaching a settlement in 2005.

As a quarterback, Neuheisel led UCLA to a victory in the 1984 Rose Bowl and was named Most Valuable Player of that game after passing for 298 yards and four touchdowns.

He also served six seasons as an assistant coach on offense for UCLA.