Spanos named UCLA defensive coordinator

UCLA’s search for a defensive coordinator lasted weeks and weeks last season, finally landing on a coach straight from the United Football League.

Jim Mora’s search didn’t go much faster, but roughly five weeks after his hire,
he poached his man from the NFL.

Mora announced on Tuesday the hiring of former Washington Redskins linebackers coach Lou Spanos as the Bruins’ defensive coordinator, filling the UCLA staff at nine assistants.

“I am thrilled a coach with Lou’s NFL background and defensive pedigree has agreed to join our staff,” Mora said. “Now that our coaching staff is complete, I’d like to thank Dan Guerrero for his support as we sought to bring the finest coaches in football to UCLA. We have a collection of men that will not only be mentors to our student-athletes, but given their experience at the highest levels of football, will also be able to provide them a blueprint for competing and winning, and reaching their athletic potential.”

Spanos spent two seasons with the Redskins, helping lead London Fletcher to an NFL-high 166 tackles and a spot in he Pro Bowl, a year after he helped Fletcher and Brian Orakpo to the all-star game. Spanos arrived in Washington after 15 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he helped guide the team to three Super Bowl appearances. His hire gives UCLA a total of 90 years of NFL experience staff among its coaches, as players or coaches.

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  • Anonymous

    “[. . .] NFL-high 166 tackles and a spot in [t]he Pro Bowl [. . .] helped Fletcher and Brian Orakpo to the all-star game [. . .] 15 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers [. . . ] three Super Bowl wins. His hire gives UCLA a total of 90 years of NFL experience staff among its coaches, as players or coaches.”

    Take that, SUCkers!

  • Ley

    Awesome Hire….I saw Kevin Greens name on the DC list but this guy was his coach at Pittsburgh!! Great credentials!

  • Larry

    Mora seemed to be a 4-3 guy, this guy can coach 3-4 or 4-3…we will put the best defense out there based on what we have recruited…which is awesome! Good days ahead!

  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    Spanos’ pedigree (Fletcher/Orakpo, anything Steelers defense) alone should have him positioned to quickly help us forget the train wreck that was Joe Tresey.

  • Brock

    hope he wears all 3 superbowl rings to recruit… haha

  • sandiegobruinfan

    @Larry…I was thinking the same thing. Looks like Spanos did exactly this for Haslett in DC.

    “Lou was very instrumental in taking us through that transition to the 3-4 defense,” Alexander said. “With him having been up in Pittsburgh for 15 seasons, he had a great knowledge of the schemes. He was able to teach us all about playing outside linebacker — dropping back into coverage, reading offenses. He’s a great transition.”

  • English Teacher

    Anonymous–you do not need to put brackets around your ellipses in any standard format for quotations.

  • Anonymous

    Just a head’s up, but I think it’s three total Super Bowls and two wins. Last time I checked the Steelers only have six Super Bowl wins and four came in the 70’s

  • BruinFaithful

    He’s going to have to know and use a lot of nickle and dime to stop OU, AU, and Wazzu.

  • BruinFaithful

    Hopefully, he will bring in a GREAT DL Coach, after McClure is done recruiting on February 1st.

  • Coach Thom

    What an incredible coaching staff Coach Jim has put together. The defensive side will be AWESOME! The offense will fall into place very quickly under Coach Noel’s guidance. Who wouldn’t want to play for these guys??!!! Go Bruins!

  • Anonymous

    Amazing how everyone is enamored and star struck by someone with shiny rings as a LB coach yet has “O”, let me say that again, has “Z-E-R-O” proven experience being the LEAD COORDINATOR OF A DEFENSE.

  • Anonymous

    yes, but the most important question is can he teach Sean Westgate how to tackle?

  • UCLAFan 11

    He won’t have to teach Sean Westgate. Westgate was a senior. Keep trolling.

  • BruinRogue

    Good background. Seems like a good teacher and hopefully his cred will help his recruiting ability. Hopefully, he can translate well to the DC spot.

  • Anonymous

    Gotta say, I’m underwhelmed. Not familiar with the name. Wondering why he was a position coach so long. But as long as he can them in the right places to make plays, that’s all that matters. Go Bruins!

  • Lifelong Bruin Fan

    I cannot wait to see the entire team play but especially the defense. I’ve been waiting patiently for UCLA to field a defensive squad that approached some of the teams we had in the 80s and 70s. CJM is moving athletes like Barr to defense and recruiting studs like McCarthy, and now we have a DC who was instrumental in the Steelers defense.

    Things are looking up. 🙂

  • NY

    hope fully Spanos will show his fangs to the undisciplined bruins:

  • BruinFaithful

    Lifelong Bruin:

    I would hardly categorize his role with the Steelers D as instrumental. Probably more like “a part of”.

    Between him and Mora, I hope ir works out. However, remember that most NFL DC’s have trouble in the NCAA, because their defensive schemes are too sophisticated.

    Look at Kiffin Sr. at SUC, he had to dumb his D way down, to finally turn that D around Half Way through season 2.


    No, MK had to recruit guys to make his schemes work. USC’s defense was better this year because of the guys they brought in.

  • 50-0

    The UFL? What is that? Is that like the lingerie league?

  • bibs

    Kiffen had to dumb down his defense because he had dumb players to work with.

  • ProbationU

    If our “smart” players gave up 50 to SUC and their dumb players shut us out…I’ll settle for some dumb players. Only thing dumber was the last comment from bibs. Let’s get real here, we had our asses handed to us. Hopefully, Mora and his staff can get this turned around quickly.

  • The so-called “English Teacher” doesn’t know what he’s talking about

    The ellipses are not part of the original statement, so the brackets are placed around them to indicate that.

    So much for trying to dumb-down the language.

    Must be a Trojan.

  • 50-0

    Dumb and dumber comments

  • Bruin Gold

    USC’s 2011 players WERE SMARTER than UCLA’s players. That is why they won 50-0. USC was able to recruit smarter and better players to run Coach Kiffin’s playbook.

    The average NFL player is SMARTER than the average NCAA player. After all, the NFL gets the cream of the crop players and brutally cuts out the dumb ones.

    With great coaches, we are starting to get SMARTER Players at UCLA. Things are looking up.

  • @Ano, 5:30PM — stop hating on our awesome coaching staff, you wish USC’s staff was half as good.
    @Ano, 5:45 — Sean Westgate is gone, he was a senior, dumb ass.

  • relentlesslypositive

    Look at how excited everyone is. So adorable. Cute little ruin nobodys will never learn. Give up football. You suck at it.

  • Anonymous

    @relentlesslypositive (the douche)

    “Give up football. You suck at it.”

    1980 UCLA 30-17
    1982 UCLA 20 19
    1983 UCLA 27 17
    1984 UCLA 29 10
    1986 UCLA 45 25
    1991 UCLA 24 21
    1992 UCLA 38 37
    1993 UCLA 27 21
    1994 UCLA 31 19
    1995 UCLA 24 20
    1996 UCLA 48 41
    1997 UCLA 31 24
    1998 UCLA 34 17

    1981 USC 22 21
    1985 USC 17 13
    1987 USC 17 13
    1988 USC 31 22
    1990 USC 45 42
    1999 USC 17 7

    1989 TIE 10 10

    13- 6-1

    What goes around comes around.

  • Our 75 Is Better Than Your 85

    USC leads the series all time 46-28

    The last 13 years, USC is 12-1 against UCLA, with the most recent game being a 50-0 demolition.

    So yeah…you guys do suck at it. Sorry.