Terry Donahue doesn't want to argue about it

Former UCLA coach can talk football all day, but he'd rather talk about the youth center named for his late brother.

I had lunch with Terry Donahue this week, happy to straighten out another UCLA football coach.

As ancient as the guy is, I don't go back far enough to really know him. And Donahue has been in no hurry to let me know him better because he doesn't want anything to do with me.

"You killed Karl Dorrell," he says of my good friend Karl Dullard.

Donahue remembers UCLA's 13-9 shocking win over USC, forgetting that I predicted as much in print before the game.

Donahue says I was yelling at him after the win to stop so we might talk. He says he threatened to knock my block off.

I don't recall the exchange, but then if I remembered everyone who has threatened to knock my block off I'd have no room in my head for anything else.

"Karl had a 10-2 record and it wasn't enough," says Donahue, while making no move yet to pick up his knife. "He was developing and he was going to make it. He just needed more time."

"That's an issue for [UCLA Athletic Director Dan] Guerrero, not Simers," I suggest.

"Simers added to it," Donahue persists, before saying, "Anyways," which is his favorite word and an indication the subject is about to change.

"Anyways I'm glad I had lunch with you," he says as if he really means it, all smiles and a tiny bit charismatic.

"My wife wanted to know if she should come along so there would be no fight," he says. "But my back hurts too much to fight. We didn't turn over any tables so this was great."

I couldn't agree more; he's nowhere as stiff and stoic as I saw him.

"Professional," he says. "I was always professional."

"And I'm not the monster you thought."

"I didn't say that," says Donahue with grin, and so we spend almost three hours talking Lane Kiffin, Jim Mora, John Robinson and Daniel Donahue.

"There's not a day that goes by I don't miss him," says Donahue, while pausing to maintain his composure. "He was a funny dude. Not a day.…"

Daniel is the oldest brother of five Donahues, teaming with Tom Schriber with great success to develop such shopping centers as Fashion Island. He's married with three daughters, "and is bigger than life," says Terry.

But Dan dies on New Year's Eve 10 years ago, rocking a family that will spend those 10 years telling Dan stories and never seemingly running out.

He's such a beloved character, Dan's friends throw a luau in his memory and raise a million dollars. They buy a Santa Ana warehouse for the nonprofit charity, KidWorks, roll up their sleeves and make it a life-changing education center.

"It's a beacon of hope in the middle of this large fog bank," says Terry, in what has to be the most colorful quote he has ever delivered.

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