The UCLA Football team, once thought to have a complete coaching staff, was suddenly in need of a new offensive line and tight ends coach after both positions were vacated. The Team has announced on Monday evening that those positions have now been filled.
It’s not a stretch to say that the UCLA Football program was struck a significant blow when former defensive line coach Angus McClure left the Bruins for the University of Nevada. While he had produced a number of first round picks under his watch, the defensive line as a unit has been underwhelming as of late. When Chip Kelly took control of the program there were serious questions regarding what this coaching staff would look like in 2018. Things seemed to stabilize themselves just before National Signing Day. That wouldn’t last long.
Both McClure and offensive line coach Hank Fraley have since left the program. Fraley did a commendable job reworking the Bruin offensive line into something actually resembling a line instead of a turnstile. His last stop before the UCLA Football team was the Minnesota Vikings and he didn’t waste much time in returning to the NFL, this time with the Detroit Lions.
The defensive line coach position has been taken over by Vince Oghobaase who is an up and coming young coach. Not only does he offer skills as a young recruiter but he’s also tied at the hip with new Azzinaro and was even his assistant DL coach with the San Francisco 49ers.
Rip Scherer who had been the Bruins’ TE coach for the past two seasons has also moved on. His position was offered to McClure but it seems that Angus felt he could take a promotion and move closer to his family by heading to Nevada.
Bruin faithful speculated on which names might come aboard the Bruin staff and early Monday evening those names were made official.
Derek Sage will take over as the new TE coach for the Bruins. He joins the staff as the former Washington State inside receivers coach and is the second defection from the Cougars to join the UCLA Football team this offseason with Roy Manning coming aboard as the special teams coordinator. The WSU program doesn’t actually have a TE position on the roster but it wouldn’t be a huge assumption to imagine that the Bruins will focus heavily on ensuring that their TEs can be major assets in the receiving department.
We already know that Kelly demands his TEs block effectively in addition to being able to make catches but his offense is always open to adapting and this UCLA TE group is certainly worthy of adapting for.
Justin Frye will take over as the offensive line coach for the Bruins after spending the last 11 seasons as the run game coordinator/OL coach for the Boston College Eagles. His offensive lines paved the way for RBs like Andre Williams and A.J. Dillon. He doesn’t just bring experience to the Bruins but also production. The Golden Eagles have made running the football the bread and butter of their offense and Frye has ensured that bread stays buttered.
There’s still plenty for this staff to prove in 2018 but UCLA Football fans can rest assured that Kelly seems to know exactly what he’s doing and is building a staff that has those same philosophies in mind.