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HARBAUGH GETS SECOND INTERVIEW UCLA FOOTBALL: SOURCES SAY NFL ASSISTANT WAS SET TO MEET WITH CHANCELLOR ON FRIDAY NIGHT.

Byline: Brian Dohn

Staff Writer

UCLA's coaching search could be in its final days after Philadelphia Eagles secondary coach John Harbaugh became the fourth candidate scheduled to have a second interview. He was slated to meet with chancellor Gene Block on Friday, according to sources.

Harbaugh's meeting with Block, which was first reported on the Daily News' Web site, was to take place at night. Harbaugh was scheduled to fly back to Philadelphia immediately after the interview and resume his coaching duties with the Eagles, who finish the regular season Sunday against Buffalo.

Harbaugh joins Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Rick Neuheisel and Bruins defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker as current candidates to go through the second round of interviews with Block, a necessary step in the hiring process.

Temple coach Al Golden interviewed with Block last week, but pulled his name out of consideration earlier this week.

UCLA could still contact other candidates, sources said, or could make a decision in the next few days. The search began when athletic director Dan Guerrero fired Karl Dorrell on Dec. 3.

Harbaugh's re-emergence as a candidate comes two weeks after Guerrero and associate athletic director of football Bob Field interviewed him in Philadelphia. Harbaugh's brother, Jim, is the coach at Stanford.

However, John Harbaugh lacks head coaching experience, and his only experience as a coordinator came in running the Eagles' special teams. He was a finalist for Boston College's vacancy last year. But a defensive background could make it difficult for Walker to remain on staff if Harbaugh was hired.

Harbaugh, 45, began his coaching career in 1984 at Western Michigan. He also coached at Pittsburgh, Morehead State, Cincinnati and Indiana before moving to the NFL. He was a defensive back at Miami (Ohio), but has no West Coast ties.

Meanwhile, Neuheisel and Walker continue to wait.

Neuheisel, a former UCLA quarterback and the only one of the three remaining candidates to meet with the chancellor who has head coaching experience, had his second interview 11 days ago. He spent four years as head coach at Colorado, and four more at Washington, where he went a combined 66-30, including 4-3 in bowl games.

Walker does not have head coaching experience, other than serving as UCLA's interim coach in last Saturday's Las Vegas Bowl, a 17-16 loss to 19th-ranked BYU. If Walker is not the head coach, UCLA's administrators made it known they want to keep him on the staff of the new coach. However, that could force UCLA to make a two-year commitment.

Walker met with Block on Wednesday morning, then interviewed with Washington coach Tyrone Willingham for the Huskies' vacant defensive coordinator position in the afternoon.

According to sources, Walker was offered a two-year deal to go to Washington, but told Willingham he wanted to let UCLA's coaching search play out.

brian.dohn@dailynews.com
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Dec 29, 2007
Words:473
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