EUGENE, Ore. -- Oregon football coach Mike Bellotti,
approached by UCLA in its search for a head coach, said Friday he's
"You're always flattered when others want to talk to you, but
that's because of the success we've enjoyed based on our players,
our support staff and our administration," Bellotti said in a
statement posted on the university Web site. "I have been, and
continue to be, 100 percent committed to the University of Oregon
and our pursuit of a national championship."
Bellotti, who turned 57 on Friday, is in his 13th season as
Oregon's coach with a record of 105-52. The university confirmed
Thursday that he had spoken to UCLA officials.
"I was approached by them on several occasions and finally
agreed to allow them to come to Eugene and speak with me," his
Bellotti said his priorities are "the quality of life, my
family and the opportunities to win. ...
"UCLA wanted to present to me a scenario that would offer all
those things and asked if I would listen. That's as far as it ever
went. I never considered it an interview, merely an opportunity for
them to provide me with some information and insights into their
program," he said.
The Ducks are 8-4 this season, but lost their final three
regular-season games after losing quarterback Dennis Dixon to a
knee injury. Oregon will play South Florida in the Brut Sun Bowl on New
Year's Eve in El Paso, Texas.
UCLA is seeking a successor to Karl Dorrell, who was released
from his contract Dec. 3 after compiling a 35-27 record in five
Bruins officials have talked to a number of prospects.
On Thursday, Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Norm Chow,
who once held the same position at USC, pulled his name from
School officals also interviewed Temple coach Al Golden on
Wednesday, a day after meeting with former Washington coach and
current Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Rick Neuheisel, who
played quarterback for the Bruins.
UCLA defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker is serving as interim
head coach for the Bruins' Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl appearance on Saturday
against Brigham Young.
A spokesman for UCLA said the school hopes to wind up its search
soon and wouldn't comment on Bellotti, or other of the outside
"We are not officially commenting on any candidate other than
saying that DeWayne Walker would be interviewed, and he has been,"
Marc Dellins told The Associated Press.