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2017 UCLA Football Spring Preview: Lots of New Faces on the Bruin Coaching Staff

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UCLA Football starts spring practice a week from tomorrow, so we will be counting down the days with previews of the coaching staff as well as the position groups. First up is the coaches!

NCAA Football: UCLA at California Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the UCLA basketball season is officially over, we turn our attention to football. Sure, there is still a national championship game to play and there are probably some announcements of underclassmen who will enter the NBA Draft still to come, but the team is done playing.

It comes at just the right time, too. Next Tuesday, April 4th, UCLA Football will open Spring Practice with a 7 am session.

So, we’re going to spend much of the next week previewing Spring Practice.

First up, we have the UCLA coaching staff. Here’s what the coaching staff looks like as the team heads into Spring Ball:

2017 UCLA Football Coaches

Name Coaching Responsibility UCLA Experience
Name Coaching Responsibility UCLA Experience
Jim L. Mora Head Coach 5 seasons
Jedd Fisch Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks New
Tom Bradley Defensive Coordinator 2 seasons
Rip Scherer Senior Associate Head Coach/Tight Ends 1 season
Hank Fraley Offensive Line New
DeShaun Foster Running Backs New
Jimmie Dougherty Passing Game Coordinator/Wide Receivers New
Angus McClure Defensive Line/Recruiting Coordinator 10 seasons
Scott White Linebackers/Special Teams Coach 2 seasons
Demetric Martin Passing Game Coordinator/Defensive Backs 5 seasons
Sal Alosi Strength & Conditioning 5 seasons

Overview

While Jim L. Mora is still the head coach for the Bruins, last season’s 4-8 record was his worst at UCLA. He cannot afford to have another sub-.500 season if he wants to keep his job in Westwood. That’s probably why the off-season has seen the most turnover since Mora took over the job in 2012.

What’s New?

There are four new coaches on staff for 2017. Each of the newcomers is on the offensive side of the ball, which makes sense as 2016 was a horrible offensive season for the Bruins. So, Coach Mora cleaned house offensively first by firing former offensive coordinator Kennedy Polamalu and later by firing Adrian Klemm. But, Mora also allowed receivers coach Eric Yarber leave for the Rams and quarterbacks coach Marques Tuiasosopo leave for UC Berkeley.

In their places, Mora has brought in Jedd Fisch from Michigan to serve as the offensive coordinator. Fisch will also assume the duties of quarterback coach previously held by Tuiasosopo.

Also coming over from Michigan’s staff is new passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach Jimmie Dougherty. Having worked with Fisch before should be a big benefit for Dougherty and should make the offense transition easier for Josh Rosen and the receivers.

Hank Fraley is Mora’s replacement for Adrian Klemm as offensive line coach. Fraley has a big job a head of him fixing the offensive line which seriously underperformed last season. Fraley was the assistant offensive line coach for the Minnesota Vikings the past three seasons. His unit will be one of the ones everyone is watching through Spring Practice.

The fourth and final newcomer to the coaching staff isn’t new to Bruin fans. It’s DeShaun Foster. Of course, Foster is known for being one of the best running backs in UCLA history. But, he’s also helped coach the Bruins in the past. In 2013, he was a volunteer assistant coach and, in 2014, he completed his UCLA degree and graduated as well as coaching. He left last season to become the running backs coach at Texas Tech, but we all know that Westwood is home for DeShaun.

Who’s Back?

Offensively, Rip Scherer is the only coach returning. Last season, it seemed like his tight ends were the only Bruins making progress on the offensive side of the ball.

Defensively, the entire defensive staff returns again this season. That include DC Tom Bradley, line coach Angus McClure, linebackers coach Scott White and defensive backs coach Demetrice “Coach Meat” Martin.

This makes sense considering that the defense was responsible for keeping last year’s team in close games even if they ended up losing late in the game, like the Stanford game where a late interception cost the Bruins the game.

Outlook

It will be good to see what kind of impact the new offensive coaches can have on what was an awful offense last season. Ultimately, whether anyone on this staff still has a job next Spring will come down to how good a job Jedd Fisch, Jimmie Dougherty, Hank Fraley and DeShaun Foster can do at turning the offense around.

Next week, we’ll get our first look at their work so far.


Go Bruins!