ESPN hires former UCLA coach Mora as college studio analyst
Former UCLA coach Jim Mora is joining ESPN as a college football analyst, filling the role Chip Kelly held last season at the network before replacing Mora as coach of the Bruins.
ESPN announced Tuesday that it added Mora and re-signed college football analyst Joey Galloway to a multiyear deal.
Mora coached at UCLA from 2012-17. He was fired after 11 games last season. He worked for the NFL Network during the lead-up this year's draft. For ESPN, he will be part of ESPN2's Saturday studio show, hosted by Chris Cotter. Former Texas star Emmanuel Acho will join Mora as an analyst on the show. Acho, who has been with the Longhorn Network, has signed a new multiyear contract to appear on ESPN's college football programming.
Acho takes the place of Jonathan Vilma, the former Miami and NFL linebacker, who is moving to the ABC studio show for Saturday Night Football.
Kelly spent last season with ESPN, taking a year off from coaching after being fired by the San Francisco 49ers at the end of the 2016 season. The former Oregon coach was hired by UCLA less than a week after Mora was fired.
Mora has coached in the NFL with Atlanta and Seattle. He went 46-30 at UCLA. He also spent two seasons working as NFL game analyst for Fox and doing a studio show with the NFL Network in between coaching the Seahawks and UCLA.
"I want to do a tremendous job for ESPN. But I also (said) at some point if there was an opportunity that presented itself with a university where my thoughts and goals and priorities aligned with theirs, I'd be overjoyed to coach again," Mora said. "I feel like I have a lot of give to the game and to the young men that play it still."
Mora will still live in Los Angeles, where two of his children attend the University of Southern California and another is in high school. He will be commuting to Bristol, Connecticut.
"Fortunately, there's a couple of great nonstop flight from LA to Hartford, which I just found out," Mora said. "And I can get a lot of work done on an airplane as well. A lot of preparation for the shows."