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Walker won't seek job at Utah State

December 04, 2008|Mark Medina | Medina is a Times staff writer.

UCLA defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker's representatives are withdrawing his name from consideration for the position of head coach at Utah State.

Walker has still been linked to other jobs, including New Mexico State and San Diego State.

"I've got orders from my agent to kind of chill," Walker said. "I'm just going to focus on this game [against USC] right now."

Walker was an associate head coach at USC and has held assistant spots with the NFL's Washington Redskins, New York Giants and New England Patriots. The last few years, his name has popped up in relation to several openings, including the job at UCLA that went to Rick Neuheisel.

Follow the road map

While preparing Washington for the 2001 Rose Bowl at USC's practice field, Neuheisel says he spotted newly hired Trojans Coach Pete Carroll watching the Huskies practice. At the time, it was uncertain whether Carroll could restore the USC program to prominence.

"From that point to now, it's nothing short of astonishing on what they've accomplished," said Neuheisel, UCLA's first-year coach. "But it's also a blueprint for what I think we can get accomplished."

A USC victory against UCLA on Saturday would clinch a fifth Rose Bowl berth in seven seasons for the Trojans.

Carroll, whose teams won a national championship in 2003 and 2004, leads active coaches in winning percentage (.851) with a record of 86-15 in eight seasons.

UCLA, 4-7 overall and 3-5 in Pacific 10 Conference play, is 54-44 since Carroll arrived at USC and isn't bowl eligible for the first time since 1999.

There's one main factor Neuheisel says will determine whether he can follow the same road map Carroll outlined at USC: "A lot depends on how quickly players gravitate toward the system," he said.


Neuheisel said sophomore defensive tackle Brian Price had a "stomach disorder" in practice, but said he's fine.

Times staff writer David Wharton contributed to this report.


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