Don Johnson Goes to the NFL

Don Johnson, UCLA's defensive line coach for the last five years, has accepted the same position with the NFL's Chicago Bears, according to Head Coach Karl Dorrell...

UCLA's defensive line coach, Don Johnson, will take the same job with the Chicago Bears, according to Head Coach Karl Dorrell.

"Don Johnson has accepted a position with the Chicago Bears," Dorrell said just moments ago. "We know it was his longtime goal to be a defensive line coach in the NFL and we're very happy for him. He'll be sorely missed at UCLA."

Johnson just completed his fifth year as UCLA's defensive line coach. He also served as UCLA's recruiting coordinator this season.

Johnson has been offered other jobs before. He, in fact, accepted the head coaching job with Nevada a year ago, with Nevada calling a press conference to announce it, before Johnson back out of it.

Johnson has also received other interest from the NFL, but turned down those and the Nevada job because of family obligations.

Dorrell said that he is actively trying to find candidates to replace Johnson. "We have about two or three candidates in particular we're looking at. We feel we'll get a good, experienced head coach to replace Coach Johnson."

One of those thought to be a candidate is former UCLA defensive line coach Terry Tumey, who coached the front four from 1995-1998. A former Bruin defensive linemen himself, Tumey left UCLA to coach the Broncos defensive line, where he reunited with former teammate Dorrell, then left Denver to take a front office position with San Francisco. Dorrell hasn't spoken to Tumey and reportedly thinks Tumey is feeling secure in his position with the 49ers.

Dorrell also added that he'd like to get the new DL coach in place in time for winter practice, which begins next Tuesday. "We might have to start (practice) a day or two later. But we think we'll probably be able to get this done and start practice according to schedule."

Dorrell also said he didn't know who would take over as UCLA's recruiting coordinator.


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