Jim Svoboda, a finalist for the Frank Broyles Assistant Coach of the Year award in 2005, is in his first season as UCLA's offensive coordinator and his third season as UCLA's quarterbacks coach.
"Jim possesses an outstanding offensive mind and has a great feel for the game," said head coach Karl Dorrell when announcing the promotion. "He has done a tremendous job of working with our quarterbacks the last two years and did a fantastic job as a coordinator prior to coming to UCLA. I know our offense will continue to flourish under his supervision."
A year ago, Drew Olson enjoyed a record-setting senior season. Olson ranked among the nation's leaders in passing efficiency (fifth at 161.6), touchdown passes (second at 34), passing yards (3,198) and total offense (26th at 262.5). He set several school records, including touchdown passes in a season, most consecutive passes without an interception in a season (199) and touchdown passes in a game (six).
In 2004, Olson thrived under Svoboda's tutelage. Olson ranked fourth in the Pac-10 Conference in passing efficiency (132.39) and his 20 touchdown passes ranked fifth on UCLA's all-time single-season list. Olson's 2,671 yards of total offense ranked sixth on that single-season list. His total of eight touchdown passes in a two-game span tied another record.
Svoboda, a past winner of the Division II Offensive Coordinator of the Year award, came to UCLA after spending the previous 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. In the 2003 season, the Bearcats averaged 236 passing yards per game and posted an 8-3 record.
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 and quarterback Chris Greisen, a seventh-round selection by Arizona in 1999. NWMSU had final national rankings of second, third, second, fourth and first 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). Greisen (1995-98) ranked 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 (Lincoln, NE). 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 (Orange City, IA) College (he played running back), has also served as running backs coach at Eastern New Mexico (Portales, NM) University (1985-86), assistant football coach at Nebraska Wesleyan (1986), offensive line/strength coach at Dana (Blair, NE) 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).
RECRUITING RESPONSIBILITIES -- Local / California: San Fernando Valley, Ventura County; National: St. Louis area, Kansas CIty area and quarterbacks.
PERSONAL -- Education: Bachelor's in Psychology, Northwestern (IA) College, 1983; Master's of Science, Eastern New Mexico University, 1986; At UCLA: Third year (joined staff Feb. 25, 2004); Born: June 23, 1960 in Honolulu, HI; Family: Wife, Susan.