UCLA offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone to leave for Texas A&M

UCLA offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone is on his way out after four years. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

UCLA offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone is on his way out after four years. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

UCLA offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone will soon be coaching at Texas A&M, the team that hosts the Bruins to open the 2016 season.

The news was first reported on Wednesday night by FootballScoop. Mazzone’s move reunites him with Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin, with whom he worked in the mid-1990s; both were on the same staff at Minnesota, coaching quarterbacks and receivers, respectively.

Texas A&M parted ways with offensive coordinator Jake Spavital on Sunday. TCU co-offensive coordinator Doug Meacham had also been connected to the vacancy.

Mazzone has been a part of Jim Mora’s staff for four years at UCLA, and was the team’s highest-paid assistant at just over $654,000 in annual base pay. His most recent contract extension — a two-year deal signed in 2014 — also gave him a $130,500 retention bonus this past year, and another $165,250 on Jan. 1. ESPN reports that Texas A&M offered him a three-year deal worth more than $1 million annually.

The 58-year-old was hospitalized in mid-December, but returned to the team and called plays in the Bruins’ 37-29 loss to Nebraska in the Foster Farms Bowl the day after Christmas.

Texas A&M will be the 10th college football team that Mazzone has worked for as a full-time assistant.

His son, UCLA quarterbacks coach Taylor Mazzone, is expected to head to College Station and work in the same capacity.

UCLA camp notes: Bruins continue to run three-quarterback rotation

» At Pac-12 Media Days last month, Jim Mora said he wanted to find a starting quarterback “sooner rather than later.” At the start of training camp this week, he said UCLA would reevaluate the position after five or six practices.

But now, six days and seven practices later, the Bruins’ three-headed rotation is still going strong. During Saturday night’s full-pads session, it was Mike Fafaul who got the bulk of the first-team reps, with some also going to Jerry Neuheisel. Josh Rosen worked with the ones sparingly, but threw a pair of touchdowns.

Asked if at least one could be cut from the race by Monday, quarterbacks coach Taylor Mazzone held to the status quo.

“All three are doing a great job,” Mazzone said. “They’re having a great camp. I think right now, for the past seven practices, right now we still need to see more from all three of them. … We’re going to keep grinding those guys out, see what they can do.”

Mazzone did allow that if he gets a “gut feeling” about a player, then it would be appropriate to give him a larger share of the reps.

But asked if he had such feelings, he said: “I couldn’t tell you that right now.”

» Myles Jack worked a little bit at returner today, but was held out of essentially the entire second half of practice. Continue reading “UCLA camp notes: Bruins continue to run three-quarterback rotation” »

Father’s Day: What makes a coach’s son?

For Father’s Day, a short read on what it’s like to grow up as a coach’s son — as it was first published in late November. (Taylor Mazzone has since been promoted to quarterbacks coach, after initially replacing Marques Tuiasosopo as Y receivers coach.)

Taylor Mazzone has a vision. A beautiful home in a football- crazed town, a wife and kids, and a bit of job security.

Simple conditions, but difficult to come by when you’re vying to become a football coach. Mazzone, a UCLA graduate assistant, is no stranger to the profession’s winding path, the packing boxes and new ZIP Codes. After all, he’s a coach’s son. Continue reading “Father’s Day: What makes a coach’s son?” »

UCLA misses on No. 1 QB Kyle Allen

UCLA put the full-court press on Kyle Allen, but couldn’t close the deal as the No. 1-rated pro-style quarterback picked Texas A&M. The Desert Mountain (Scottsdale, Ariz.) star also had Notre Dame, Ohio State and Oklahoma State.

The Bruins, thought to be the leaders for Allen, now face a tough task in landing a 2014 quarterback: Manny Wilkins and Brad Kaaya were the next targets on the list, but they’ve since verballed to Arizona State and Miami, respectively.

The top uncommitted pro-style quarterback according to Rivals.com rankings is now Palo Alto’s Keller Chryst, whose top four is Stanford, USC, Alabama and Pitt.

Taylor Mazzone named Y receivers coach

Graduate assistant Taylor Mazzone will be promoted to the Y receivers coaching spot vacated by Marques Tuiasosopo. The news was first reported yesterday on Twitter by FootballScoop.

“A lot of excitement and anxiousness,” Mazzone said of his feelings upon hearing the news. “I’ve been waiting for quite a while. This is a great opportunity at a great university. Coaching in the Pac-12 for my first job is unbelievable.”

The son of offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone, Taylor worked previously as a graduate assistant at Arizona State, where he helped groom quarterback Brock Osweiler. He has also worked with Tim Tebow and Christian Ponder; he and his father have been credited for helping the latter become the No. 12 overall pick in 2011 NFL Draft.

Head coach Jim Mora told Mazzone after the Holiday Bowl that a position could be available for him if someone from the staff leaves. Two days after the Bruins’ 49-26 loss to Baylor, Washington officially announced that it had hired Tuiasosopo as its new quarterbacks coach. Tuiasosopo had led the Huskies to a Rose Bowl victory over a decade ago. Continue reading “Taylor Mazzone named Y receivers coach” »