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.

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With Ulbrich in limbo, linebacker Roquan Smith reopens recruitment

Roquan Smith’s recruitment won’t be ending today.

The four-star linebacker from Montezuma (Ga.) Macon County had announced his decision to attend UCLA over Georgia this morning on ESPN, but the news was soon followed by a stunner. FOX Sports reported that the Bruins’ defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich would take a job as the Atlanta Falcons’ linebackers coach.

A source indicated that Ulbrich and the Falcons were not a done deal, but the damage was done. Smith not only did not send in his letter of intent, but has now reopened his recruitment.

“He’s going to open things up with his recruiting,” Macon County coach Larry Harold told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It’s pretty much UGA, Michigan, and Texas A&M – and UCLA is still in it. Coach Ulbrich told him that he hasn’t signed anything yet (with the Falcons), and that he hasn’t made a decision. So I think they are still in it as well. We’re going to sit back for a couple of days and see how this thing plays out.”

UCLA head coach Jim Mora is slated to talk to the media at 4:30 p.m. today.

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Bruins add home-and-home series with Texas A&M in 2016, 2017

Jim Mora has touted national championship aspirations nearly since the moment he stepped foot on the UCLA campus. He’s ensuring that the Bruins schedule like a contender.

The UCLA football team has added a home-and-home series with Texas A&M, starting at College Station on Sept. 3, 2016 and returning to the Rose Bowl on Sept. 2, 2017. Continue reading

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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.

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