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With the heat of summer coming back to Los Angeles, UCLA is really gaining some steam in spring football practice under second-year head coach Jim Mora.
The Bruins have hit the turf at Spaulding Field four times this week, so there’s no question that the coaching staff is mighty busy getting things in order for the 2013-14 season.
But even with the excitement of football in the air in Westwood, Coach Mora has found the time to get online and interact with the massive community of UCLA fans on Twitter. Be certain though—this isn’t just some half-assed attempt to appease the boosters. Mora is making a legitimate effort to give back to the fans who love their Bruins so dearly.
It all started on Friday morning when Mora announced he would be fielding questions from the Twitterverse about anything and everything UCLA football. As one would expect, pandemonium ensued as hundreds of Bruins began blowing up Mora’s feed. However, unlike most overly-crowded AMAs, Mora didn’t throw in the towel. Instead, he began pumping out personalized video responses throughout the afternoon.
At this point, Mora has produced 16 such recordings, addressing issues as diverse as personnel development, strategic planning and uniform design. Each clip includes a shout-out to whomever asked the question, followed by a 1-2 minute discussion of the topic. And though each video is short, you can really see that Coach Mora is passionate about giving the best answer he can.
The most interesting response that Mora has released so far is in regards to the famed “UCLA Stripe” and its design on today’s uniforms. The well-known sporting decor, which originated as a lengthy shoulder stripe running fully to the armpit on either side, has since been shortened by the new Adidas TechFit unis. The split from tradition first took place in 2011, and has been met with great criticism from the Bruin faithful ever since.
Mora’s “video demonstration” echoes the fans’ concern, while also explaining the reasoning behind the change and giving a close-up look at a Bruins jersey. But it doesn’t stop there, as Mora goes on to essentially promise that an innovative return to the norm is in the works.
After posting the response, Mora also followed it up with a series of Tweets elaborating on the new apparel research. Here’s what Mora had to say of the good people at Adidas.
Obviously, there’s no way to confirm how serious they’re looking into this rubberized paint solution to the UCLA Stripe problem. Nonetheless, the simple fact that Mora is actually hearing out the fans is reason to be optimistic for the future.
It’s unclear how long Mora can keep up this insane Twitter success, yet even now he’s done enough to earn the admiration of his constituency. His good-faith effort to be accessible to the public will not only increase his exposure, but will also make him more relatable, and will likely earn him the common fan’s favor.
And for the head football coach at UCLA, every little bit of good press is another penny in the job-security bank. After this weekend’s Twitter campaign, Coach Mora has begun to amass a fortune worth its weight in gold.
Keep it locked to GJB for the latest news and notes about your UCLA Bruins!