The Latest on the Coaching Staff

Head Coach Rick Neuheisel, after the monumental addition of Norm Chow to his staff as offensive coordinator this week, still has three coaching staff spots to play with, while there could also be a change to the existing staff...

Head Coach Rick Neuheisel now has the primary components of his staff, and could very well not rush into completing it before signing day.

The staff now consists of:

Norm Chow, Offensive Coordinator
DeWayne Walker, Defensive Coordinator
Bob Palcic, Offensive Line
Reggie Moore, (probably wide receiver coach)
Todd Howard, Defensive Line
Chuck Bullough, Linebackers

A staff can have a total of ten coaches, so Neuheisel has three other spots to fill.

We've also heard from some sources close to the program that there is a possibility that a coach on the UCLA staff could have an opportunity to go to the NFL. We've heard it's unlikely, but if it happened it would be a considerable blow to Neuheisel's new staff.

It's clear he'll hire a defensive backs coach, either one that specializes in cornerbacks or safeties, with Walker then coaching either, and then three offensive assistant coaches.

It's probably pretty safe to say that Moore will be UCLA's wide receiver coach. From what we've heard, some of the new coaches have been assigned some of the space of former wide receiver coach, Eric Scott, which is an indication that he probably wouldn't be back as receiver coach. Scott has been invaluable in recruiting, being a key component in UCLA assembling the 2008 recruiting class, and Neuheisel is trying to find a spot for him in the football program in another capacity – perhaps in football operations.

UCLA will, of course, hire a running backs coach. We've heard that Wayne Moses, most recently of the St. Louis Rams, is a candidate. Moses was just fired from the Rams, where he spent two seasons, and has coached at five different Pac-10 teams. He was at UCLA from 1990 to 1995, when he coached with Neuheisel. Moses has also coached at California (1996), Washington (1997-2000) under Neuheisel, USC (2001), and Stanford (2002-03 and 2005), and spent 2004 at the University of Pittsburgh.

Candidates' names that have surfaced for the defensive backs job are Mark Carrier, the former USC All-American who worked with Neuheisel when he was with the Baltimore Ravens; and Marcus Turner, the former UCLA All-American and 12-year pro who is currently the head coach at Long Beach Cabrillo High School. Turner played at UCLA while Neuheisel was a volunteer coach.

There was also a report that Nigel Burton could still be a candidate. Burton was an assistant at Oregon State who, last week, was hired by Nevada as its defensive coordinator.

After Neuheisel does hire a defensive backs coach and a running backs coach, he'll have one spot to play with. More than likely it will be used for a tight ends coach. If that's the case, it will be interesting to see who would be considered the quarterbacks coach. You do have Chow, whose history of coaching quarterbacks is almost unparalleled in football today. Neuheisel himself is a pretty accomplished quarterbacks coach.

UCLA also announced the hiring of Mike Linn as the head Strength and Conditioning Coach, replacing Doc Kreis. Linn previously served in the same capacity at UCLA in 1999-2002, and was a three-year starter on the offensive line in the early 1990s, playing at UCLA when Neuheisel was an assistant.

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