Bob Connelly, who spent the last four years coaching the offensive line at the University of Alabama, has been hired to coach the UCLA offensive line, Bruin head coach Karl Dorrell announced today.
Connelly has coached in a Rose Bowl, a Sugar Bowl and a Cotton Bowl.
"Bob is an outstanding communicator and teacher," said Dorrell. "He produced all-league performers at both Washington State and Alabama. I think he will bring a level of energy and expertise that will be a great fit for the young men in our program."
Last season, running back Kenneth Darby rushed for 835 yards, left tackle Andre Smith earned first-team Freshman All-America honors and sophomore center Antoine Caldwell was named second-team All-SEC. In 2005, Connelly was named one of the nation's Top 25 recruiters by Rivals.com and his offensive line helped Darby rank second in the SEC in rushing and become only the fourth back in Alabama history to post back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons. In addition, Caldwell and guard B.J. Stabler both earned Freshman All-SEC honors.
In 2004, Connelly tutored a pair of his starters, Wesley Britt and Evan Mathis, to All-SEC honors. His offensive line helped Alabama carve out the 20th best rushing attack in the country and the top rushing game in the SEC. The Crimson Tide also ranked second in the SEC in fewest sacks allowed. In 2003, Connelly's line led a rushing attack that netted 2,067 yards, fourth best in the Southeastern Conference, and produced two All-SEC linemen.
Alabama played in three bowl games during his four seasons, including the 2007 Independence Bowl, 2006 Cotton Bowl and the 2004 Music City Bowl.
Prior to coaching at Alabama, Connelly, 36, spent two seasons tutoring the offensive line at Washington State. In Pullman, his 2002 squad allowed just 24 sacks in 424 pass attempts while helping the Cougars win a share of the Pac-10 title and play in the 2003 Rose Bowl. His 2001 unit gave up 27 sacks in 434 attempts and WSU played in the Sun Bowl. Derrick Roche was a first-team All-Pac-10 selection in both of Connelly's seasons in Pullman and Calvin Armstrong was a first-team choice in 2002. A 1994 graduate of Texas A&M-Commerce, Connolly was a graduate assistant at Texas A&M in 1998 and coached the offensive line at Cal State Northridge in 1999 and at San Jose State in 2000 before moving to Washington State.