Feb. 25, 2004
UCLA head football coach Karl Dorrell completed his staff for the 2004 season by naming Jim Svoboda, architect of some of the nation's most prolific scoring teams, as quarterbacks coach.
"I am very excited to add Jim to our staff," said Dorrell. "He has accomplished everything he can at his level and he is looking forward to coming to UCLA. He has been a successful offensive coordinator and a successful head coach. In addition, he has built a reputation as a great technician in the development of quarterbacks. I feel he will be a great fit with the rest of our staff and just what our program needs."
Svoboda, a past winner of the Division II Offensive Coordinator of the Year award, comes to UCLA after spending the past 10 seasons as the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, MO. During his time at NWMSU, the Bearcats won national championships in 1998 and 1999 while his offensive units ranked among the most potent in NCAA Division II and in the MIAA (Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association) conference. In addition, his teams broke more than 50 individual and team offensive records during his tenure. This past season, the Bearcats averaged 236 passing yards per game and posted an 8-3 record.
"Obviously, this is a great opportunity for me and my career," said Svoboda, 43. "To be able to coach the quarterback position at a highly-regarded school like UCLA is an unbelievable opportunity. Working with the types of coaches on the staff at UCLA will provide a real opportunity for me to learn. Coach Dorrell has been in the NFL and been a coordinator several times. I really feel good that they interviewed several candidates and felt I was the guy they wanted."
Svoboda's 1998 and 2000 offensive units led all of Division II in scoring. In 2000, the Bearcat offense topped the nation by scoring 537 points, averaging 48.8 points per game. The squad also ranked third nationally in total offense with a mark of 492.4 yards a game.
In 1998, the Bearcats averaged conference-best marks of 46.4 points and 482.4 yards per contest and won 15 games. The passing average of 283.3 yards per game also led the league that season. Svoboda was selected the 1998 Division II Offensive Coordinator of the Year by American Football Coach Magazine. In 1999, NWMSU ranked 13th nationally in total offense with a 422.9 yard average.
During his time at Northwest Missouri, Svoboda had six of his offensive players either drafted or signed by NFL teams, including offensive tackle Seth Wand, a third-round pick of the Houston Texans in the 2003 NFL draft. NWMSU had final national rankings of 2nd, 3rd, 2nd, 4th and 1st between 1996 and 2000 with a record of 63-5 and five MIAA conference titles. In a six-year span (1996 and 2001), his offenses averaged over 40 points and 450 yards of total offense. He won six different conference championships with four different quarterbacks and a pair of national championships with different signal callers.
In October of 2000, quarterback Travis Miles set an NCAA record by completing 21 of 23 passes for 305 yards, including 18 consecutive completions. His efficiency rating of 182.4 ranked 14th all-time in Division II (entering the 2003 season). Quarterback Chris Greisen (1995-98) ranks 12th all-time in career passing efficiency for Division II (150.9).
Prior to joining the staff at Northwest Missouri, Svoboda was the head coach and offensive coordinator at Nebraska Wesleyan University. He compiled a 52-19 record (.732 winning percentage) in seven seasons at Wesleyan from 1987-93 and established over 30 team and individual offensive records. He was named the Nebraska-Iowa Athletic Conference Coach of the Year following the 1988, 1989 and 1990 seasons and his teams were ranked among the nation's top five in the 1990, 1991 and 1992 campaigns.
Svoboda, a 1983 graduate of Northwestern (IA) College (he played running back), has also served as running backs coach at Eastern New Mexico University (1985-86), assistant football coach at Nebraska Wesleyan (1986), offensive line/strength coach at Dana College (1984-85) and running backs coach at his alma mater (1983). He earned a Master's of Science from Eastern New Mexico in 1986. He is married (Susan).