Top UCLA aide Josh Rebholz is not a finalist for the athletic director position

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Top UCLA aide Josh Rebholz is not a finalist for the athletic director position

Top UCLA aide Josh Rebholz is not a finalist for the athletic director position 1

Dan Guerrero’s chief lieutenant will not replace him as UCLA athletic director.

Josh Rebholz, the senior associate athletic director who revived the athletics department’s fundraising efforts and served as a point man on recent coaching hires, is not among the finalists for the job, according to two people close to the quest and asked for anonymity because they are not authorized to speak on record.

The Bruins remain on track to hire Guerrero’s successor before the end of this month, despite the new coronavirus outbreak that has limited interviews to online video chats. A short list of finalists will be presented to Chancellor Gene Block, who will make the decision about the new Athletic Director.

One candidate believed to remain in the race is Desiree Reed-Francois, Nevada Las Vegas athletic director and former UCLA rower who also holds a law degree from Arizona.

Reed-Francois became the first Spanish woman and woman of color athletic director at the Football Bowl Subdivision level when she took up the UNLV job in June 2017. Since then, she has hired soccer coach Marcus Arroyo, the former offensive coordinator at Oregon, and men’s basketball coach. TJ Otzelberger, whose first Rebels team went 17-15 last season.

Reed-Francois, 48, was also a senior associate athletic director at Cincinnati for two years, while current UCLA men’s basketball coach, Mick Cronin, led the Bearcats. Her ties to UCLA could give her an advantage given the school’s long history of hiring athletic directors with a Bruins connection. Every UCLA athletic director since Fred Cozens held the position at the opening of the school in 1919 has been an alumnus or coach at UCLA.

The person who replaces Guerrero will take over an athletics department that is flooded with debt and uncertainty due to the pandemic of COVID-19. The department had a $ 18.9 million deficit for fiscal 2019, backed by an interest-bearing loan from the university, and could go deeper into the red in 2020 due to lower revenues and donations related to the global crisis that started in 2020 danger brings -21 sports calendar.

The new athletic director will also inherit football and men’s basketball coaches who have had mixed results in their attempt to revive the school’s most talked-about programs. While the soccer team under Chip Kelly was 7-17 in two seasons, the men’s basketball team completed the first season under Cronin in a wild revival, winning 11 of the last 14 games and finishing with a 19-12 record as the season ended by the pandemic.

Guerrero, who has been UCLA’s Athletics Director since 2002, will retire on July 1. The school convened an eight-person investigative committee consisting of college officials and appointed WittKiefer, a Chicago-based executive search firm, to help draw up a list. candidates.

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