5 realistic Chip Kelly replacements UCLA can hire to salvage this mess

UCLA Bruins head coach Chip Kelly
UCLA Bruins head coach Chip Kelly / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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1. UCLA wide receivers coach Jerry Neuheisal as an interim

Given the calendar, with Signing Day gone and Spring Camp right around the corner for many schools, the Bruins may not have any truly great options. If other coaches are comfortable where they're at — or if White and Lynn don't want to risk the jump to a program in turmoil with NIL issues and a decimated roster — what else can UCLA do?

The simplest solution could be to take a deep breath and recognize that rushing into a full-time head coaching decision in February might be a bad idea. An interim head coach could be the answer.

Texans offensive lineman and former All-Pac-12 Bruin Scott Quessenberry jumped on Twitter after Kelly's departure to advocate for wide receivers coach Jerry Neuheisel to be promoted.

"Give [Jerry Neuheisal] a shot. No one on planet earth loves UCLA more and I truthfully believe tht. He isn't scared of big moment and when his bask is against the wall he just scraps. Go watch the 2014 Texas game if you don't believe me," Quessenberry tweeted.

Quessenberry and Neuheisal played together but while the former made it to the NFL, the latter went on to begin a coaching career in 2017. He worked as a graduate assistant before landing a job as a wide receivers coach at UCLA. He's had great results in that role while fostering immense respect in the locker room.

Neuheisal has head coaching aspirations, but he's young and inexperienced for a full-time head coaching gig right now. That's why the interim tag could work. With old heads like Tim Drevno and Ken Norton Jr. remaining on staff, Neuheisal could fill the gap while Jarmond looks ahead to a permanent hire for 2025.

It's not a perfect solution, but it's something to consider.

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