LOS ANGELES -- He came to Los Angeles as a kind of reinvention of himself, a one-time whiz kid who in early middle age found himself having been fired as a head coach by not one but two NFL teams.
After his second firing, he caught his breath in the TV booth, working as an analyst while doing a lot of soul-searching about his next career move.
He eventually began to be drawn to the world of college football, pursued some opportunities and, in a case of being in the right spot at the right time, was hired by a big-name school in Los Angeles looking to re-establish its football credentials. And it didn't bother him that he wasn't the school's first or second choice.
Eleven years after Pete Carroll arrived at Southern California and returned the Trojans to the top of the college football world, Jim Mora, whose circumstances are eerily similar to Carroll's, hopes to show USC's crosstown rival, the UCLA Bruins, a path back to football relevance.