Lovett comes aboard to coach cornerbacks, giving the Bears two coaches to steady what’s been an abysmal defensive backfield over the first two seasons of head coach Sonny Dykes’ tenure in Berkeley.
[READ MORE: Bears Add Lovett]
During Cal’s 1-11 season in 2013, the Bears were the most porous passing defense in all of Division I college football, ranking 125th in passing yards allowed per game (341.0). After dismissing Randy Stewart as defensive backs coach, and under the hand of highly-regarded Greg Burns as the defensive backs coach, the Bears once again came in 125th in 2014, allowing 367.2 passing yards per game.
The cupboard though, was bare, and with six new defensive backs coming in for the 2015 season, Cal will be sure they’re coached up.
[SIGNING DAY CENTRAL: Bears Bring in Lots of New DBs]
Also figuring to be a big contributor beyond the new kids is Darius White. After suffering a shoulder injury during fall camp, the JuCo transfer never quite got going until late, but he was one of the big-time standouts during spring ball, along with new JuCo transfer Derron Brown.
Lovett spent the last 2 seasons in Philadelphia with Chip Kelly, and he’s spent time in the NFL with the Eagles and New York Jets. Lovett has a coaching career that spans nearly 40 years, and has been the defensive coordinator at Miami, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Clemson and Auburn, while also working under current Bears defensive coordinator Art Kaufman at Texas Tech in 2012.
Lovett will help to coach up a very young defensive back corps, which will include a pair of junior college DBs in Brown and Antoine Albert. Jaylinn Hawkins and Malik Psalms bring length and talent as freshman cornerbacks, while DePriest Turner -- at 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, brings size and intelligence, having spent most of his high school career as a quarterback.
The addition of Lovett will allow Burns to focus on the safeties, a position group so thin during spring that backup quarterback Luke Rubenzer was pressed into service on the defensive side of the ball. That group should be getting reinforcements, though, as the injured trio of Stefan McClure, Griffin Piatt and Patrick Worstell should be healthy by fall camp, and Khari Vanderbilt was added as a late signee.