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Rick Neuheisel Fired, Will Coach UCLA Against Oregon Friday

The head football coach was fired Monday.

UCLA officials removed Rick Neuheisel from his football coaching duties Monday, but he will be on the field Friday as the Bruins face Oregon in the first Pac-12 championship game.

"I have a great deal of respect for Rick Neuheisel and the manner in which he has run this program during his tenure as UCLA head football coach," said Dan Guerror, UCLA athletic director. "Decisions such as this one do not come without a great deal of heartache. 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 has coached at UCLA for four years, with a 21-28 record.

Mike Johnson, UCLA's offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach, will take over as head coach on an interim basis. The university plans a nationwide search to replace Neuheisel.

"Rick Neuheisel's strong personal values, integrity and tenacity made this decision extremely difficult for Dan Guerrero and the university,'' said Gene Block, UCLA chancellor. "We wish Rick the best in his future endeavors.''

City News Service contributed to this report.

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