Following the firing of UCLA football head coach Jim Mora, offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch is slated to serve as the team’s interim coach for the rest of the season.
Fisch, who previously served under Jim Harbaugh at Michigan until taking the coordinator job with the Bruins this past offseason, opened up about the challenges of filling in for the man who gave him a chance.
“It’s unfortunate circumstances,” Fisch said, according to the Associated Press. “It’s (in place of) a head coach that literally our family loves, and for somebody that gave us an incredible opportunity to come out here. It’s a very difficult circumstance.”
The Bruins are 5-6 so far in 2017, needing one more win to secure a bowl bid. However, Fisch knows his players will be reeling from the loss of a head coach so late in the year.
“We all know how much our players love Coach,” Fisch said. “They love Jim. He recruited every one of them in this class. He sat in all their living rooms, and so I would imagine they’re greatly affected by it, as we all were. Whether you’ve coached with him just for nine months or all the six years he was here, he makes a tremendous impact on you.”
Fisch has guided one of the Pac-12’s most potent offenses with quarterback Josh Rosen at his disposal. The Bruins average 34.1 points and 466 yards per game.
“He’s been awesome,” Rosen said. “Sort of the rallying cry is to carry on Coach Mora’s legacy for the remainder of this year, and I think Coach Fisch is adjusting really well. He’s jumping on the opportunity. He’s leading the guys. There’s a pretty good energy moving forward, as good as it can be in such a situation.”
I say UCLA's national search will lead to the guy already at UCLA: Jedd Fisch.
— eric sondheimer (@latsondheimer) November 19, 2017
While Fisch admits that virtually any coach would love the full-time job, he says his focus is on the immediate future.
“I think that anybody would like to be the head football coach at an extremely prominent university,” Fisch said. “In this case right now, my mind is 100 percent on trying to get our seniors to 6-0 and to leave Coach Mora’s legacy as one that he was able to get five out of his six teams to bowl games.”
The Bruins face Cal on Friday night with a bowl berth on the line.