Over the past month, we have all kept an eye on the coaching market and the possible effect of that market on the Bruins and our conference rivals and future opponents. After Jim Mora and Adrian Klemm rejected generous offers elsewhere to stay in Westwood, all seemed stable at UCLA for the upcoming year. Until today.
The Tennessee Titans have just announced their hire of Bruin defensive coordinator Lou Spanos as the team's new Linebackers coach, the same position he held with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins before coming to UCLA after the 2011 season. Spanos will be joining the staff of new Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt, whom he worked with as part of Bill Cowher's staff with the Steelers.
Coach Spanos has been a key part of the culture change and overall turnaround of the Bruin football program under Coach Mora. I hope we can all agree to wish him success in the NFL, where he will be working with Bruin great Akeem Ayers among the linebackers in Nashville.
The timing of this move could have been better-timed from our perspective, with signing day just a couple of weeks away and the effect that having an incomplete staff could have with recruits. But Lou was not a significant force out on the recruiting trail and while he did quite well running the UCLA defense, the recruiting angle might have been a factor leading him toward a return to the pros.
No definitive word yet on who will replace Spanos on the coaching staff. Jeff Ulbrich has been thought to be a future candidate to take over as defensive coordinator, if not a DC in waiting. But I don't know if Coach Mora thinks he is ready for that responsibility yet or if he will look outside the current staff to fill that position. We'll keep you posted as developments arise in this coaching search.