The search for a new UCLA football coach got lighter Wednesday, when Temple's Al Golden withdrew his name from contention, as DeWayne Walker, another candidate, explored possibilities elsewhere.
Walker, the Bruins' interim head coach, met with Washington's Tyrone Willingham to discuss the Huskies' defensive coordinator opening, a source within the UCLA athletic department said. Walker also interviewed with UCLA Chancellor Gene Block for the Bruins' job Wednesday morning, sources familiar with the coach search said.
Block has met with three candidates, Golden, Walker and Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Rick Neuheisel. But Golden took his name out of the mix, saying in a statement that although he was "flattered" by being considered for the job, "we are on the brink of something truly special here at Temple."
Golden, 38, has coached at Temple for two seasons and, though he has only a 5-19 record, is considered an up-and-coming coach. He interviewed with Block last week.
Unless UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero intends to add candidates, the choices to replace Karl Dorrell, who was fired on Dec. 3, are down to two.
Neuheisel, a former Bruins player and assistant coach, has previously been the head coach at Washington and Colorado. Walker, the Bruins' defensive coordinator the last two seasons, coached UCLA in Saturday's 17-16 loss to Brigham Young in the Las Vegas Bowl.
Walker, who has been a key figure in the Bruins' recruiting success, is expected to seriously consider the Washington job if Neuheisel is hired by UCLA, a source said. He probably would also meet with Neuheisel. UCLA athletic department officials want to retain Walker, no matter who is hired.