LOS ANGELES – UCLA Assistant Head Coach Jeff Ulbrich has been promoted to Defensive Coordinator, it was announced by UCLA head football coach Jim Mora. Ulbrich, who served as special teams coordinator/linebackers coach on the Bruins staff the past two seasons, replaces Lou Spanos, now the linebackers coach for the Tennessee Titans.
“Coach ‘Brick’ is a natural fit for this position, having run an NFL defense for years as a player while honing his abilities to get the most out of his players as a coach,” said Mora. “We couldn’t be more excited about this move.”
Named the 2013 FootballScoop Special Teams Coordinator of the Year, Ulbrich has guided the Bruins special teams unit to one of the top rankings in the country in each of the last two seasons. Under Ulbrich, UCLA special teams have led the country in blocked kicks and punts over the last two seasons. UCLA also joined Stanford, Florida and Florida State as the only FBS teams to finish the regular season among the top-20 nationally in both kickoffs and kickoff returns.
Instrumental in the development of one of the top linebacking corps in the country, perhaps most notably, Ulbrich helped lead the conversion of Anthony Barr, an H-back before Ulbrich stepped on campus, to his current position as outside linebacker. Barr, who transformed into one of the top pass rushers in college football over that span, was named a finalist for the Bednarik and Lombardi awards and won the Lott Trophy this season while also garnering consensus All-American honors in 2013.
With linebacker being UCLA’s most decorated position honor-wise in 2013, Ulbrich also worked with Myles Jack, Jordan Zumwalt and Eric Kendricks.
Jack, who immediately made an impact as a true freshman this past season, garnered Pac-12 Defensive and Offensive Freshman of the Year honors. Jack totaled 75 tackles, seven for a loss, one sack, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a team-high 13 passes defended.
Capping off his career at UCLA by being named Sun Bowl-Co-MVP and Defensive MVP, Zumwalt ranked second on the team with 93 tackles, added 5.5 for loss, forced three fumbles and had two interceptions. For his efforts, Zumwalt recently played in the Senior Bowl as a member of the North team.
Eclipsing the century mark in tackles for the second consecutive season, Eric Kendricks led UCLA with 106 tackles despite missing two games due to injury. Kendricks added four tackles for loss, two sacks, one interception, forced a fumble and blocked a kick.
A third-round pick out of Hawaii, Ulbrich spent his entire NFL playing career with the San Francisco 49ers (2000-09). Prior to joining Mora’s staff at UCLA in 2012, Ulbrich spent two seasons as a special teams assistant for the Seattle Seahawks (2010, 2011).
In addition to Ulbrich’s promotion, Mora also announced that Adrian Klemm will serve as Associate Head Coach in addition to his duties as Running Game Coordinator/Offensive Line and Demetrice Martin will serve as Assistant Head Coach in addition to his duties as Passing Game Coordinator/Defensive Backs.