Acclaimed Sports Illustrated college football writer Bruce Feldman is reporting this morning that the UCLA Bruins have hired former Arkansas Razorbacks’ defensive coordinator and former Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads to coach the secondary.
SOURCE: #UCLA is hiring Paul Rhoads to coach the secondary.. big addition for the Bruins D.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) December 10, 2017
That means that new head coach Chip Kelly still has just a few spots left to fill on his staff.
Feldman seems to think that hiring Rhoads to coach the secondary is a “big addition for the Bruins D.” Personally, I find this hire to be underwhelming.
I’m just not convinced that this hire will improve the Bruins secondary because I don’t find Rhoads’ experience to be all that impressive. As head coach of the Iowa St. Cyclones, he never won more than seven games. As the defensive coordinator at Arkansas, the team was ranked 112th in the nation in Team Passing Efficiency Defense (TPED). Last season, when Rhoads was the DB coach, the Razorbacks were 65th in the nation in TPED.
Meanwhile, UCLA was 74th this year and 7th last year.
Given that UCLA’s pass defense was better than the Razorbacks in TPED in consecutive years, I can’t help but feel this is a downgrade from outgoing secondary coach Demetrice Martin.