UCLA’s hiring of Jim “Don’t Call Me Jr.” Mora may not have been the most popular of this current coaching carousel, but, slowly but surely, the first-time collegiate head coach is assembling a quality staff of assistants around him.
Mora’s latest hire comes from Arizona State, with Arizona State offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone agreeing to become the former ASU offensive coordinator and take the same position on Mora’s Bruins staff. Mazzone has spent the past two seasons with the Sun Devils, and has also served as a coordinator at Ole Miss (twice), North Carolina State, Oregon State and Auburn.
Mazzone joins SMU assistant Adrian Klemm as the offensive line coach and run-game coordinator; Washington assistant Demetrice Martin as the defensive backs coach; and Arizona State assistant Steve Broussard as wide receivers coach as Mora’s first assistants at UCLA.
As far as assistants who were on Rick Neuheisel’s staff, intern Marques Tuiasosopo is expected to be named the Bruins’ tight ends coach. Offensive coordinator Mike Johnson, who will serve as the interim head coach in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, said he’s unsure if his future will involve being a part of Mora’s staff.
“I just have to wait and see what happens,” Johnson said. “I’ve got to look at all my options and then I’ll go from there. I like UCLA, I like L.A. and if the right opportunity comes up, I’m going to definitely look at it.”
Ohio State has quietly added Joker Phillips and Brian Knorr — two experienced college coaches — to Urban Meyer’s staff.
Although the athletics department has not made an announcement yet, Phillips is listed in Ohio State’s employee directory as a sports program associate with the working title of “Football QC – kicking,” which presumably means he is a quality control assistant for the Ohio State kicking game.
Knorr is listed simply as an athletics intern.
OSU tonight confirms hire of former UK HC & Browns Asst Coach Joker Phillips to support position for Urban Meyer. Has no on-field duty.
Of the two, Phillips is the more experienced. Now 53, he began his coaching career as a G.A. at Kentucky, his alma mater, and eventually spent six seasons as a full-time receivers coach for the Wildcats in the early 1990s.
He also coached at Minnesota, Notre Dame and South Carolina before returning to Lexington as an assistant and eventually rising to head coach in 2010.
Make that four new additions to Texas’ 2016 recruiting class in late June.
The school announced Wednesday that Patrick Hudson, an in-state offensive lineman from Silsbee, has signed a financial aid agreement and is expected to enroll in Austin in July when the second summer session begins.
Hudson is a four-star prospect and the 50th-best player in the country according to 247Sports’ composite rankings.
He signed with Baylor in February but was granted a release from his letter of intent after a report accusing members of the school and athletics department of mishandling accusations and incidents of sexual assault delved the school into controversy.
J.P. Urquidez and brothers Devin and Donovan Duvernay also signed with the Longhorns in the past week.
“We’re really excited to have Patrick joining our program,” Texas coach Charlie Strong said in a release. “Patrick coming to Texas, along with J.P. and Donovan earlier this week, are tremendous additions to an already impressive class of 2016. Patrick and J.P. are two big, physical, talented linemen, and Donovan is an explosive athlete who has played on both sides. We’re looking forward to getting them on campus and working with the team.”
Urquidez is also a four-star offensive lineman while Devin Duvernay is a four-star receiver and Donovan Duvernay is a three-star athlete per 247Sports.
Texas’ class is ranked seventh nationally and No. 1 in the Big 12 as Strong looks to put a rocky start to his tenure behind him and return the Longhorns to national prominence.
They start the season with a visit from Notre Dame on Sept. 4.
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