Lou Spanos is a Titan, literally and figuratively. Some sad/congratulatory news fell upon Westwood as it was announced that UCLA’s defensive coordinator is leaving Westwood to take over the linebacker coaching spot for the Tennessee Titans. Spanos had helped head coach Jim Mora transform the UCLA Bruins football defense into a bit of a juggernaut.
The Tennessee Titans have announced they’ve hired #UCLA DC Lou Spanos to be their linebackers coach today.
— Edward Lewis (@EdwardLewisBSR) January 18, 2014
In the two years since his hiring, Spanos had helped make the Bruin’s defense one of the best and most feared groups in the Pac-12 Conference. Just look at what he has done in his two years at UCLA…
Defensive Stat: In 2013, 2012, (2011 under HC Rick Neuheisel and DC Joe Tresey)
Yards Allowed Per Game: 385.9, 415.9, (417.1)
Points Allowed Per Game: 23.2, 27.6, (31.4)
Total Season Sacks: 32, 45, (14)
One of the things that Mora wanted to bring to his defense is a 3-4 formation. Spanos was the guy for him because not only did he know how to run it, but run it with success.
He had also helped turn average players into defensive stars. One of the more telling stories of his great coaching experience at UCLA, is what he did with running back turned linebacker, Anthony Barr.
Spanos’ eye for player development is incredible. He made Barr, a half back with little chance of seeing the field, into a Lott IMPACT Award winner and potential first round NFL draft pick. Hmmm, Tennessee, are you thinking what I am thinking in regards to your first round pick? That would be very cool.
Spanos was always an NFL guy at heart. Not surprised to see him go, especially to coach with Ken Whisenhunt, who he knew in Pittsburgh. — Ryan Kartje (@Ryan_Kartje) January 18, 2014
Spanos will definitely have some talent in the NFL, but it is how he uses and develops that talent which made UCLA a defensive threat. The Tennesse Titans just got a coach that knows the game of football, knows his players and schemes with innovation. Good get, Tennessee.
So Who Will Be UCLA’s Next Defensive Coordinator?
Already there is speculation on who will fill Spanos’ position. The promotion of UCLA linebacker coach Jeff Ulbrich has been a twitter rumor since the leaving of Spanos was first announced. A few have even added former Cal and USC defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast to the list. You remember Pendergast, right? He was the one that gave up 62 points to Arizona State as the the USC DC this past season. Now you remember.
Anyhow, congratulations Coach Spanos and we here at GJB wish you a wonderful NFL career!