According to sources from the Los Angeles Times and UCLABruins.com, the new UCLA coach, Jim L. Mora, has been busy in his first official days as the Bruins’ head coach.
Here is what’s been up…
Noel Mazzone, who spent last two seasons as Arizona State’s offensive coordinator, has been hired by Mora to serve in the same capacity at UCLA. Mazzone will also be the quarterback coach.
He will be joined by Jeff Ulbrich, who will be the new special teams coordinator and linebacker coach, Eric Yarber, who joins the staff as receivers coach, and Sal Alosi, who will be the new strength and conditioning coach. Alosi is famous for tripping the Miami Dolphins’ Nolan Carroll during a punt return against Alosi’s team, the New York Jets, in 2010, while he was coaching for them.
In the “heads are starting to roll” department:
Mora is keeping his word to change the culture as three players have left the team, with two of them, defensive tackle Wesley Flowers and tight end Raymond Nelson – the brother of former basketball player Reeves – being dismissed for breaking team rules.
Randall Carroll, the wide receiver-turned-defensive back, was ruled academically ineligible and has likewise left school, which is unfortunate as he came to Westwood with huge potential and promise, being a two-time state champion in the 100 and 200 meters in high school.
Carroll’s departure means that of the 21 recruits from 2009, which ranked in the nation’s top 15, eight are no longer at UCLA.
Meanwhile, a highly touted offensive lineman is being welcomed back…
Xavier Sua-Filo, who spent the last two years on a Mormon mission after being a heralded recruit and seeing playing time as a freshman in 2009, starting 13 games, has returned to campus and is raring to continue his career.
“Whatever Coach Mora has planned, I’m excited, ” he said.
Sua-Filo’s return is very good news for a Bruin offensive line that has not performed well, particularly against the pass, these past few years.