LOS ANGELES -- UCLA football coach Karl Dorrell declined
Tuesday to add a year to his contract, deciding he didn't do well
enough in his first season.
UCLA lost its last five games in 2003, including 17-9 to Fresno
State in the Silicon Valley Bowl, to finish 6-7. Dorrell succeeded
Bob Toledo, who was fired after the 2002 season, and has five years
left on his contract.
"I appreciate Dan's support and the offer to extend my contract
by a year," Dorrell said in a statement issued by the school. "In
my mind, we did not accomplish enough of our goals this past season
for me to accept the offer of an additional year, so I have respectfully declined it.
"It was a frustrating season for our team, our coaches and our
fans. I understand the fans' frustration and hope they will
continue to support the young men in this program. UCLA is an
outstanding university and my goal is to make us the No. 1 program
in the Pac-10. I am confident in my ability, and the ability of our
coaching staff, to accomplish the goal."
Dorrell, 40, could still add a year to his contract if the
school offers it to him after each of his seasons with the Bruins. His contract states the parties "may mutually agree in writing to
extend the term ... for one additional year" between Jan. 1 and
Jan. 31 each year the contract remains in effect. Athletic director
Dan Guerrero made the offer last week.
"Karl Dorrell has a great vision for the UCLA football program
and we remain confident in his ability to get the program to where
he feels it should be," Guerrero said. "While there was
disappointment with the way last season concluded, we still remain
very supportive of Karl and feel he is the man to lead us back to
the top of the Pac-10."