The 2002 season will be coach Marc Dove’s fifth tutoring the linebackers (inside linebackers in 1998) after spending his first two seasons on the Bruin staff in charge of the secondary. Dove will be coaching a talented young group for the upcoming season. He is also in charge of the kickoff coverage and return special teams squads.
In 2001, Butkus Award finalist Robert Thomas keyed the Bruin defensive unit which paced the conference in total defense. Thomas, who led the Pac-10 in tackles, was named the conference Defensive Player of the Year. The senior linebacker, who was selected by the Rams in the first round of the 2002 NFL draft, set a school record for tackles for loss in a season with 26. The Bruins also ranked second in the league in rushing defense and scoring defense. In 2000, Thomas led the team in tackles and paced the Pac-10 in fumbles caused. In 1999, Thomas, Ryan Nece and Tony White finished second, third and fourth, respectively, on the Bruin team in tackles. In 1998, Nece and White emerged as impressive young starters at inside linebacker. Nece, the leading returning tackler on the Bruin team for 1998 with 85 stops, earned Freshman All-America honors after the 1998 season. White was right behind Nece as the third-leading tackler on the 1998 squad with 69 hits. In 1997, UCLA led the Pac-10 with 21 interceptions and Shaun Williams developed into a first-team All-American and NFL first round draft choice under Dove’s tutelage.
Dove joined the Bruin staff in March of 1996. Previously, he had served as the defensive coordinator at the University of Minnesota starting in 1992. From 1992-94, he also specialized with the Golden Gopher linebackers. In 1995, Dove worked with all defensive positions. Dove’s Minnesota defenses exhibited a consistent level of improvement, moving up the Big Ten charts in rushing defense, total defense and scoring defense.
Dove started his coaching career at his alma mater, Texas Tech, as defensive secondary coach from 1973-74. He then moved on to the University of South Carolina as defensive backfield coach from 1975-77. In 1978, Dove was named defensive coordinator at Mississippi State, a position he held for six years. He was named the defensive coordinator at North Carolina beginning with the 1984 season and remained there until 1988 when he joined coach Wacker’s staff at Texas Christian University, once again as defensive coordinator. Overall, he has coached in 11 bowl games in his career.
A 1968 graduate of Central High in San Angelo, TX, Dove was an all-state choice in football as a senior. He went on to earn three varsity letters at Texas Tech, earning All-Southwest Conference accolades twice. In 1971, Dove was honored as the league’s Defensive Player of the Year.
RECRUITING RESPONSIBILITIES — Local / California: San Diego County; National: Dallas,TX, West Texas and linebackers.
PERSONAL — Education: Bachelor’s, Texas Tech, 1973; At UCLA: Seventh year (joined staff in March, 1996); Born: May 16, 1950; Family: Marc and his wife, Julia, have two sons, Zach, and Seth.