Imagine Jordon James running up the field in a Noel Mazzone offense. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
You guys are already on top of this in the fanshots but it is frontpage worthy news. Jim Mora continues to build a very impressive staff at UCLA at a lightning pace. The latest addition is offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone from Arizona State, who reportedly accepted the job today (@DevilsDigest). There is also news breaking out of Seattle that Mora is going to retain current QB coach Marques Tuiasosopo as our TE coach. Good.
Bruce Feldman of CBS didn't waste any time in praising the Mazzone move:
Jim Mora made another good hire at UCLA w ASU OC Noel Mazzone. Offense wasn't the issue for SunDevils. He's worked hard to stay sharp.
Mazzone has been with ASU since 2010. He jump started an offense that scored 33.9 points per game, which ranked 25th in the nation, and was 11th in the country in passing yards last season. We have been high on him for a while as noted by AHMB in his assistant list couple of days ago. Mazzone was on top of that list.
The Mazzone to UCLA move has been rumored for a while and it's a good bet that Mazzone was holding on to see if he had a chance to get the ASU head coaching position. He immediately jumped after news came out of Todd Graham taking over at ASU (sidenote check out how Graham notified his players at Pitt, yikes).
The SBN bloggers at House of Sparky have been big fans of Mazzone as well as they recently pleaded their school administration "give him a substantive raise that reflects the significant offensive improvement" he brought to ASU. Now that's a pretty glowing endorsement.
There are also other interesting angles to this Mazzone hire.
Guys like Adrian Klemm, Steve Broussard and Demetrice Martin are great recruiters. Mazzone is going to fit in this staff with a track record of one of the best schemer in the game. There is also another interesting nugget from Mazzone's experience that stands out. He coached for one year at Ole Miss under current Southern Cal assistant Ed Ogreron in 2005. IIRC Ogreron fired him after year. So there could be interesting dynamic between Mazzone and Ogreron. It sure was fun to watch ASU offense tear apart the SC defense this past year in Tempe.
Of course being Bruin fans and the experience we have had in recent years through hiring of offensive "genius" we have to contain our excitement a bit. Still on paper the move is a huge plus for Mora and will complement his defensive mindset.
Going back to the Tui news, I think it is a solid move on the part of Mora. From all reports Tui has emerged as a great mentor for Brett Hundley and our other QBs. He will continue to grow into his role as a full time assistant and I am kind of intrigued to see if we see any difference in our QB's performances during the bowl game.
So here is how our new coaching shapes up so far on offense:
- OC: Noel Mazzone
- OL Coach: Adrian Klem
- RB Coach: Steve Broussard
- TE Coach: Marques Tuiasosopo
- WR Coach: ?
On the defensive side:
- DC: ?
- LB: ?
- DL: ?
- DB: Demetrice Martin
Mora will also have to think about addressing positions for S&C and special teams. Those two areas have been ... uh ... well ... "special" causes for concern in recent years at UCLA. Should be very interesting to see how Mora fills rest of the staff out. No question he is off to a solid start.