Saturday, December 15, 2012
Noel Mazzone 'totally committed' to UCLA
By Peter Yoon
LOS ANGELES -- UCLA offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone has been contacted about various coaching vacancies from around the country but is not looking for another job, he said Saturday.
Mazzone's name has cropped up during the recent run of college coach hirings and firings, including the head coaching jobs at California and San Jose State and the offensive coordinator job at Texas A&M, but he said he hasn't been moved by anything he has come across just yet.
"I've had a few phone conversations here and there but nothing that has really piqued my interest," Mazzone said. "I never coach anyplace with the thought I'm coaching here to try to get to someplace else. I'm totally committed to this program, coach (Jim) Mora, this staff, these kids."
Mazzone, 55, has had a journeyman career with 13 stops over the last 32 years, but the success of his spread offense over the past few seasons has made him a hot commodity. This season, he revamped UCLA's offense and the Bruins finished No. 20 in the nation in total offense and No. 28 in scoring. Last season, they were No. 56 in the nation in total offense and No. 88 in scoring.
The year before at Arizona State, Mazzone's offense was 29th in total offense and 28th in scoring. The year before Mazzone arrived at Arizona State, the Sun Devils were 90th and 91st in those categories, respectively.
He also has developed a reputation for developing quarterbacks, shaping Brett Hundley into one of the top freshman signal callers in the country this season and turning former Sun Devils quarterback Brock Osweiler into an NFL draft pick.
With those credentials, it's no wonder he's drawing interest from around the country, but Mazzone says he's very happy where he is and is looking forward to building UCLA into a national power.
"This is that time of year," Mazzone said of all the talk about job openings. "There's rumors this and rumors that, and he's doing this and he's doing that, and they're going here and all that kind of stuff. I'm here. I'm not looking."
That's not to say, however, that he isn't picking up his phone when the calls come in. Mazzone has been an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for most of his career, but has never been a head coach.
"Just like anybody if there is an opportunity that arises obviously I would sit down and listen and weigh the plusses and minuses of every situation," he said. "I kind of like what I'm doing right now. I'm enjoying it. Am I saying I don't want to be a head coach? No, I'm not saying that, but I'm here and I'm not thinking that I'll be happier someplace else."
Mazzone is under contract through next season with UCLA. He is making $350,000 this season and will make $375,000 next season -- well below the pay of many top coordinators across the country. He said he has not yet spoken with the UCLA administration about renegotiating or extending his deal but hinted that he might after the Holiday Bowl against Baylor.
"That kind of stuff is for after the season," he said. "We still have a game to play. We still have to play a good team in Baylor and a good bowl game."