Todd Howard, who possesses both playing and coaching experience in the National Football League, has been hired to coach UCLA's defensive line, head coach Karl Dorrell announced today. He replaces Thurmond Moore, who coached the defensive line in 2005 but is not being retained.
Howard has spent the last three seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, serving as assistant defensive line coach. He assisted the defensive coaching staff in all aspects of game preparation, including scouting reports, the statistical analysis of opponents' tendencies and the preparation of playbooks.
"Todd has been a part of one of the top NFL defenses over the past few years," said Dorrell. "He brings both college and NFL experience to the position. He is a great teacher and I think our defensive linemen will really develop with Todd as their coach."
He, along with defensive line coach Ray Hamilton, oversaw the Jaguars' defensive line. In 2005, Jacksonville led the NFL in fewest rushing touchdowns allowed (four). In addition, the Jaguars ranked third (tied) with 47 quarterback sacks, sixth in total defense (290.9 yards) and 14th in rushing defense (106.8 yards). Defensive tackle Marcus Stroud earned a Pro Bowl appearance for the third straight time and defensive tackle John Henderson was an alternate this year after making the team in 2004.
Howard, who will be 41 on February 18, has 11 years of experience coaching in college and five in the NFL, in addition to having played in the NFL for two seasons.
He spent three seasons (2000-2002) as the linebackers coach at Louisiana Tech. Prior to that, he was a defensive assistant for two years (1998-1999) with the St. Louis Rams, who won the Super Bowl in Howard's second season. With the Rams, he assisted with the linebackers in the area of pass-rushing techniques, as well as working on defensive game preparation, film evaluation and quality control.
For one month prior to joining the Jaguars, Howard was the associate head coach and co-defensive coordinator at Southwest Texas State. He began his coaching career in 1991 at Texas A&M and was a member of three Southwest Conference champion coaching staffs. He coached at Grinnell (Iowa) College from 1994 through 1997, and served as the defensive coordinator in 1996 and 1997. In addition, he was a member of the NFL's minority coaching program with the Washington Redskins in their 1997 training camp, helping on defense.
He was a third-round draft choice of the Kansas City Chiefs in 1987 and he played in the NFL for two seasons as an inside linebacker and special teams player. He also played for the Barcelona Dragons of the World League in 1991 and 1992.
Howard was All-Conference and honorable mention All-America at Texas A&M, where he started for three seasons (1984-86). He received a degree in sociology in 1991 and a master's in human resources in 1995.
Howard was born February 18, 1965 in Bryan, Texas. He and his wife, Susan, have three children.