D.J. McCarthy has been hired to coach wide receivers at UCLA, Bruin head coach football Karl Dorrell announced today. McCarthy comes to UCLA from the University of Central Florida, where he spent the last two seasons coaching wide receivers.
Dorrell also announced that Dino Babers has been promoted to running backs coach and recruiting coordinator. Babers coached running backs at Pittsburgh in 2003 and during part of his six-year stint at the University of Arizona and also played the position at Hawaii.
"I think D.J. is a great fit for our staff," said Dorrell. "He has a great track record of developing productive receivers and he is an outstanding, energetic recruiter. He is very familiar with Florida and the surrounding states and I think that will be a big plus for our recruiting efforts.
"At the same time, I am confident that we will continue to have an outstanding running game with Dino coaching our backs. He has great versatility in his background and I know this will be a smooth transition. Dino is also a great recruiter and will do a fine job of following the philosophy we have established in recruiting."
"Words cannot express how excited I am to join the UCLA football program with head coach Karl Dorrell and his staff," said McCarthy. "I am looking forward to the opportunity to help continue the development of their talented group of current receivers as well as the incoming freshmen. I feel fortunate to be back in the Pac-10 as a coach and excited to be a part of the great winning tradition at UCLA."
During the 2005 season, McCarthy tutored two outstanding wide receivers at UCF, both of whom All-Conference USA acclaim. Brandon Marshall made 74 receptions for 1,195 yards and 11 touchdowns while Mike Walker made 64 catches for 856 yards and eight scores. Marshall had seven games of at least 100 yards and finished the year ranked No. 22 nationally in receiving yards per game (91.9).
In his first season with the Golden Knights, McCarthy tutored a group of wide outs that included Tavaris Capers, who finished ranked in the top 10 in UCF history in career touchdown receptions. McCarthy also assisted in the development of Luther Huggins, who led the team with 42 receptions for 585 yards for the first time in his career. Capers inked a free agent contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers while Huggins signed a free agent contract with the Miami Dolphins following his career in Orlando.
Before arriving at UCF, McCarthy was the receivers coach at Nevada for four seasons (2000-2003) and was instrumental in the development of record-setting receiver Nate Burelson, who led the nation in receptions in 2002 with 138 catches. Burelson set numerous Nevada and Western Athletic Conference records, including receptions in a game with 19 and receiving yardage in a game with 326.
Three of McCarthy's wide receivers at Nevada joined the NFL ranks following their careers with the Wolf Pack. Burelson was a third round pick of the Minnesota Vikings and in three years with that team, he has made 127 receptions for 1,789 yards and 12 touchdowns. Maurice Mann was a fifth round selection of the Cincinnati Bengals and Willie Johnson signed free agent contract with the Miami Dolphins.
McCarthy graduated from the University of Washington in 1994, where he played receiver for the Huskies. He was a member of the 1991 National Championship team at UW and was part of two Rose Bowl teams. McCarthy ranked second on the team in touchdown receptions his senior season.
Following Washington, McCarthy spent parts of four seasons in the Arena Football League.
He then began his coaching career at his alma mater, Boca Raton High School, where he spent two years. Before moving into the college ranks at West Hills Community College in California, McCarthy coached former UCF receiver Tavirus Davis while he was at Fort Lauderdale High School.
Prior to joining the staff at Nevada, McCarthy spent two years as a coaches' assistant in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders. He got his start in the NFL as an intern with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1998.
McCarthy, 34. and his wife Trisha have two sons, Guy and Nathan.
Washington Redskins secondary coach DeWayne Walker is the leading candidate for UCLA's vacant defensive coordinator position, according to sources.
Walker is probably best knwon as Pete Carroll's former associate head coach at USC.
Sources have indicated that Walker was supposed to meet with Dorrell during the weekend and that if the interview goes well the announcement of the hiring could be soon.
Walker very well could bring in other defensive coaches with him, and that could be a contingency of his acceptance of the job. We've heard that defensive line coach Thurmond Moore could be leaving the program.
Before spending the last two seasons coaching the defensive secondary with the Redskins, Walker coached the secondary with the New York Giants. Back in 2001, when Pete Carroll took over the job at USC, he made Walker his first hire, and he served as associate head coach and secondary coach. He also coached with Carroll on the staff of the New England Patriots.
Walker, 45, began his coaching career at Mt. San Antonio Junior College where he was the secondary coach for four seasons before becoming defensive coordinator in 1992. He went on to coach with Utah State (1993), Brigham Young (1994), Oklahoma State (1995) and California (1996-97).
Walker played professionally as a defensive back for three seasons: with the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL in 1982, with the USFL's Oakland Invaders in 1984 and Arizona Outlaws in 1985. He started at cornerback for two seasons at Minnesota (1980-81) after playing at Pasadena City College for two seasons.