The last tie to the Karl Dorrell and Rick Neuheisel eras has officially left the UCLA Football coaching staff as the University of Nevada has announced that Angus McClure has joined the Wolfpack coaching staff as assistant head coach and offensive line coach.
On one hand, McClure has been credited with some of UCLA’s top recruiting wins over his time spent in Westwood. On the other hand, maybe, it’s time for McClure and UCLA to move on. After all, Chip Kelly would have been the fourth head coach McClure worked under at UCLA. And, while UCLA’s average recruiting rank since 2002 ranks UCLA 20th among FBS schools, the on-the-field results have not been there. Of course, McClure didn’t join the UCLA staff until 2007, but he is the only coach who was still on staff for the Dorrell, Neuheisel and Mora eras.
So, maybe, just maybe, McClure’s departure is the best for both sides.
There is no doubt that McClure impacted UCLA Football. McClure certainly made an impact on recruiting. He is certainly responsible for getting Takkarist McKinley to Westwood along with a lot of other players from Northern California.
However, at the same time, I think it’s important to ask just how much of an impact he was having with players on the field. An argmuent can certainly be made that the defensive line underperformed under his tutelage.
While he was not going to be coaching the defensive line this coming year, you can’t really blame him for looking to get closer to Northern California. His son signed with Sacramento State as a quarterback and being in Reno could potentially allow him to see his son play more frequently than he would be able to if he were still in Westwood.
And, of course, there may be more behind-the-scenes issues that led him to leave. The Sacramento Bee ran an article at the beginning of December about how he was anxious due to the staff changes and wildfires near campus. The caption under the article’s picture said, “Angus McClure, the Bruins’ recruiting coordinator and defensive-line coach, has quite a résumé and argument to stick, though he won’t publicly lobby for his job under new coach Chip Kelly.” So, perhaps, he felt slighted to only be offered the position of tight ends coach. We’ll probably never know that for sure.
One thing we can expect, however, is that this now probably means that Derek Sage will likely become McClure’s replacement and that Kelly will also need to fill the offensive line coach opening created last week by Hank Fraley’s departure, which will need to be filled quickly because Spring Practice begins on March 6th.