UCLA coaching candidates: P.J. Fleck, David Shaw among top options to replace Chip Kelly

Chip Kelly left UCLA in a tough spot by abruptly leaving the program after six years, reportedly to become Ohio State’s offensive coordinator. From an optics perspective, it’s a blow for the Bruins to lose their sitting coach just so he can become an assistant at a future Big Ten competitor. Practically, UCLA’s options for his successor are a lot more limited this late in the coaching carousel. 

Unless UCLA pulls out all the stops to make a splash hire, it’s basically left with two options: hire an effective interim coach that can keep things stable until the 2024-25 hiring window opens, or take a chance on a young name or respected assistant coach that may have the chops to lead the program. 

Compounding the issue are the circumstances surrounding UCLA’s program. Despite the university’s ideal location and historic tradition, the Bruins stagnated under Kelly and lost any momentum they may have built in prior seasons. Their roster ranks in the bottom third nationally in terms of returning production, and the 2024 schedule is an absolute monster with games against the likes of LSU, Oregon, Penn State and Washington awaiting whoever steps in.

That’s not to say UCLA completely lacks options. There are some intriguing names that could jump at the opportunity to coach a rather prestigious Big Ten institution. Here are a few to keep an eye on as UCLA’s search unfolds. 

P.J. Fleck, Minnesota coach: Fleck might be at the top of the board for UCLA. He’s still relatively young at 43 years old and at least has tangential ties to the West Coast from a brief stint as a wide receiver with the San Francisco 49ers from 2004-05. He’s also a high-energy program builder that could be the boost the Bruins need after they plateaued during Kelly’s tenure….


Source link : https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/ucla-coaching-candidates-p-j-fleck-david-shaw-among-top-options-to-replace-chip-kelly/

Author : Will Backus

Publish date : 2024-02-09 22:42:39

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