Jon Embree is in his fourth season as UCLA's assistant head coach. This is his third year coaching the tight ends after working with the receivers in 2003. In 2005, Marcedes Lewis emerged as one of the most dominant tight end performers in the country and in school history on his way to earning the Mackey Award as the nation's best at his position. He has set numerous records, including receptions in a season by a tight end (58) and touchdown catches in a season by a tight end (10). J.J. Hair, Ryan Moya and Logan Paulsen gave the position a level of depth it has not had in many years and all return in 2006.
In 2004, Bruin tight end Marcedes Lewis made seven touchdown catches and set the school record for career scoring receptions by a tight end. Lewis was one of three finalists for the John Mackey Award (nation's top tight end) and earned second-team All-Pac-10 Conference honors. Wide receiver Craig Bragg made 73 catches during the 2003 campaign, tying for No. 3 on UCLA's single-season receptions list.
Embree coached the tight ends his first two seasons at CU, before moving to defense to work with the ends in the first year of Rick Neuheisel's tenure as head coach in 1995. He returned to coaching tight ends under head coach Gary Barnett in 1999. In January of 2001, Embree took charge of the wide receiver position and also coordinated the practice routine for the placekickers.
He left Colorado tied for seventh all-time in most seasons served as a full-time assistant coach at the university, and he was one of only nine to have assisted for 10 or more years through Buff history. Embree played a pivotal role in many of CU's outstanding recruiting successes over the years.
Embree worked as a volunteer coach at CU under Bill McCartney in 1991 also working with the tight ends, and was the receivers and tight ends coach at Douglas County (CO) High School in 1992.
He graduated from the University of Colorado with a B.A. degree in communications in 1988. He lettered four seasons (1983-86) as a tight end. He ended his career in the top five in both career receptions (80) and yards (1,116) along with scoring five touchdowns. He won CU's Lee Willard Award in 1983 as the coaches selected him the team's most outstanding freshman. His 1,116 yards rank as the second most by a tight end in CU history, while his 80 catches ranks in the top five among all ends.
His top season came his sophomore year (1984), when he was first team All-Big Eight and set school records with 51 receptions for 680 yards, both of which stood until 1992. Even though CU abandoned a passing offense for the wishbone in his junior year, he caught the eyes of pro scouts and was a sixth-round draft choice by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1987 NFL Draft. He spent two years with the Rams (1987-88), playing in 13 games, and concluded his career in 1989 with the Seattle Seahawks, as a severe elbow injury ended his pro career.
He has coached several top players, including all-Big Eight performer Christian Fauria, an 11-year NFL veteran, now with the National Football League's Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, and Matt Lepsis, a nine-year NFL veteran, now starting at left tackle for the Denver Broncos. Several others have gone on to the NFL, including Daniel Graham of the Patriots, who he tutored his sophomore and junior seasons and watched break several of his own school records in 2001.
RECRUITING RESPONSIBILITIES -- Local / California: Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland area; National: Colorado, Georgia and tight ends.
PERSONAL -- Education: Bachelor's in Communications, Colorado, 1988; At UCLA: Third year (joined staff in January of 2003); Born: October 15, 1965 in Los Angeles, CA; Family: Jon and his wife, the former Natalyn Grubb, have three children, Taylor, Connor and Hannah.
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