Ranking 20 Years of UCLA Defensive Coordinators

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Nov 28, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins defensive back Ishmael Adams (1) is surrounded by the Stanford defense in the second half of the game at the Rose Bowl. Stanford won 31-10. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

9. Joe Tresey, 2011

In Rick Neuheisel‘s last year, he reshuffled his coaching staff, trying to right the ship and save his job. To this end he brought in Joe Tresey from the University of South Florida by way of a stint in the UFL. Tresey, like all but one (Aliotti) of his post-Donahue era predecessors, ran a 4-3 base defense, but he expressed his intent to mix it up with the occasional 3-4 look or nickel or dime package. Tresey emphasized flexibility and a fast, attacking style that sought to force turnovers and make plays in the backfield. This is a high-risk, high-reward strategy, and it did not pan out for Tresey’s defense.

More: UCLA Football: The Best Defense in the Pac-12?

Statistical Rankings
Year | SOS | SD | TD | DFEI | DS&P+
2011 | 14 | 92 | 84 | 111 | 77

To be fair, Tresey was brought into a weird situation with Neuheisel losing control of his team. Futher, he and the head coach got off on a weird start, with Neuheisel publicly stating that Tresey was his fourth choice after deals with (presumably) Vic Fangio and the Rockies (Long and Seto) all fell through.

That said, it’s not as if Tresey didn’t inherit a talented crew. Datone Jones, Jordan Zumwalt, and Cassius Marsh all featured on that defense, and he had access to freshmen Owamagbe Odighizuwa and Eric Kendricks.

I’d be inclined to cut Tresey some slack, given the shambolic state of the program as a whole, but those statistical numbers – particularly scoring defense (giving up 31 points per game!) and the defensive efficiency ranking in the triple digits – are tough to swallow. Dan Guerrero must have thought so too, particularly after the 50-0 shutout at the hands of USC, since he fired Neuheisel and the entire staff.

Where is he now: After being fired as DC of Youngstown State after the 2013 season, the last trace of Tresey I can find online is his unsuccessful bid to become the head coach of the Massillon High School football team in Massillon, Ohio.

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