UCLA hires Jimmie Dougherty as WR coach

Jimmie Dougherty was a offensive analyst at Michigan in 2016 and worked with now UCLA offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch (Photo: Rogelio V. Solis, Associated Press)

(Updated Feb. 8, 11:33 a.m. — UCLA announces hire officially)

UCLA hired former Oregon wide receivers coach Jimmie Dougherty for the same position Wednesday, the school announced.

Dougherty, who held his job with the Ducks for about seven weeks, was an offensive analyst at Michigan last year, where he worked with current UCLA offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch. Dougherty will serve also as passing game coordinator for the Bruins.

“Knowing Jimmie since 2009 and having been able to see him in action at practice, during games and in the meeting room, it’s exciting to add a coach of his caliber to our staff,” head coach Jim Mora said in a statement.

Dougherty is the fourth new offensive coach for the Bruins this season, including Fisch, Hank Fraley (offensive line) and DeShaun Foster (running backs). The only remaining offensive coach from the previous year is tight ends coach Rip Scherer.

Dougherty has previous Pac-12 coaching experience at Washington, where he coached receivers from 2009-12 under Steve Sarkisian. He was an assistant head coach, receivers coach and passing game coordinator at San Jose State from 2013-15.

During his short tenure at Oregon, Dougherty helped the Ducks rope in four receivers for their 2017 recruiting class. He is also the second assistant coach to leave within the past week, as co-offensive coordinator and tight ends coach David Reaves resigned last Friday following an arrest for multiple traffic violations, including DUII, on Jan. 22. Dougherty was a passenger in the car at the time, according to the Oregonian, but was not charged with any crimes.

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Matthew Slater, Devin Lucien win Super Bowl with New England Patriots

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Former UCLA Bruins Matthew Slater and Devin Lucien helped the New England Patriots to a thrilling 34-28 Super Bowl victory on Sunday. Slater was a team captain for the coin toss and won the overtime toss for the Patriots, which set up New England’s game-winning drive.

Slater, 31, is a six-time Pro Bowler and a key special teams player for the Patriots. He also won Super Bowl XLIX with the Patriots.

Despite collecting limited stats during his career, Slater is considered an extremely important piece to the Patriots’ success.

“He’s a difference-maker,” running back James White told the New York Post. “I think he’s the glue to the locker room.”

Lucien was drafted by the Patriots in 2016 after finishing his college career at Arizona State. During his three years at UCLA, he had 58 receptions for 752 yards and six touchdowns.

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Former UCLA safety Kenny Easley elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

Kenny Easley, who starred at UCLA before playing his entire NFL career with the Seattle Seahawks, was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday.
(Rick Stewart / Getty Images)

Former UCLA safety Kenny Easley was one of seven voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday.

Kidney disease cut Easley’s professional career as the 1981 first-round draft pick was forced to retire in 1987 after spending his entire NFL career with the Seattle Seahawks.

In 1984, he won the Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He was a four-time All-Pro selection and was elected to the Pro Bowl five times.

Easley is one of the best players to come out of UCLA. He was a three-time consensus All-American and was the first player in Pac-12 history to be named an all-conference selection for four straight years. He still holds the program record for interceptions in a career (19). In 1980, he finished in ninth place for the Heisman Trophy. His No. 5 jersey is retired by the school, and he was voted to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1991.

The 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame class also includes running backs Terrell Davis and LaDanian Tomlinson, quarterback Kurt Warner, kicker Morten Anderson, defensive end Jason Taylor and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. The class will be enshrined on Aug. 5 in Canton, Ohio.

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How UCLA landed four-star OL Stephan Zabié

Four-star offensive lineman Stephan Zabie committed to UCLA on National Signing Day on ESPNU.

UCLA got an early morning present on National Signing Day last Wednesday when four-star offensive lineman Stephan Zabié put on his UCLA hat at about 6 a.m. PT on ESPNU.

Zabié was UCLA’s only new Signing Day commit as the rest of the 18-man class had previously announced their commitments before signing on Feb. 1.

Head coach Jim Mora described the recruiting of the 6-foot-6, 290-pound offensive lineman was “fast and furious,” as Zabié didn’t get an offer from the Bruins until Jan. 18. UCLA hadn’t even hired its offensive line coach when Zabié took his official visit to campus.

However, the Bruins were able to keep the prospect away from in-state Texas with the help of new offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch. Mora said Fisch was critical in landing Zabié as the coach had a previous relationship with the player and his family.

Zabié is both an intriguing and important pick up for the Bruins. Bolstering an offensive line that suffered from injuries and depth issues was of utmost importance. Zabié was one of five offensive linemen to sign last Wednesday. Continue reading “How UCLA landed four-star OL Stephan Zabié” »

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How UCLA’s newest recruiting class stacks up to previous years

Buena Park High defensive back Elijah Gates is part of an 18-player UCLA recruiting class that was heavy on defense and offensive linemen. (Photo by Bill Alkofer,Orange County Register/SCNG)

Six weeks ago, UCLA’s recruiting class was 47th in the nation, according to Scout. By the end of the Signing Day festivities, the Bruins had vaulted up to 21st.

UCLA made major moves in the month of January to make up for its slow start to the recruiting cycle to end up with the third-best class in the Pac-12, but the haul is the worst in the Jim Mora era, according to rankings from Scout and Rivals.

Continue reading “How UCLA’s newest recruiting class stacks up to previous years” »

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