UCLA hired a new defensive coordinator — D’Anton Lynn — on Monday, and the Bruins are getting a young fireball to provide energy for a defensive unit that struggled in 2022, despite the team’s overall success with a 9-4 record.
Lynn — who has only coached at the NFL level since his four years as a player at Penn State wrapped just over 10 years ago — replaces Bill McGovern, who went through health issues in 2022. McGovern will remain on staff as a director of football administration.
COLLEGE AND PRO COVERAGE: GridironHeroics
“We are excited to add D’Anton to our staff as defensive coordinator,” UCLA head coach Chip Kelly said of the announcement of Lynn’s addition. “His energy and enthusiasm, along with his experience, will make an immediate impact. I look forward to watching him develop our players both on and off the field.
“We are grateful to Billy (McGovern) and his family for their commitment to our program. We have the utmost respect for his leadership and character and we look forward to having him continue to help us in his new role.”
UCLA ANNOUNCEMENT: D’Anton Lynn Hired
So who is D’Anton Lynn, and what does he have going for him in his role with UCLA?:
THREE REASONS D’ANTON LYNN IS A GOOD HIRE
- His last stop was as the defensive backs coach with the Baltimore Ravens, and that’s not a bad thing to have on your resume when you head to the college level to become a coordinator for the first time. John Harbaugh liked what he saw in Lynn, and the Ravens’ history on defense speaks for itself (third on scoring defense in 2022, third in rushing defense, only 20 pass TDs given up in 17 games).
- Despite the sad reasons that former UCLA defensive coordinator (Bill McGovern) had to move on, it was obvious that something massive needed to change on the defensive side of the ball for the Bruins. A storied program like UCLA certainly doesn’t like seeing its opposition score 337 points against its defense and rank 92nd out of 131 FBS teams in scoring defense. Truly, only the offense ranking No. 8 in scoring offense made things a success in 2022 — even with the 37-35 Sun Bowl loss to Pitt. Can you imagine what UCLA will look like with a defense that goes from say, 92nd in scoring defense, to say, 50th?
- Lynn is young, and young translates really well to the side of the ball that requires a fire in the belly of teenage recruits and young 20-somethings who are being trained to knock the oxygen out of opponents. Lynn will be that ball of energy who is in his early 30s and still speaks the language of young football players in college. They’ll be able to relate to him, and he’ll be able to win over kids coming out of high school. While in the pros it doesn’t help at all to relate to high school kids, Lynn will undoubtedly be able to come across as a big brother or young uncle type of man in a young player’s life. He may not have been a defensive play caller for the past 30 years, but he’ll bring 10 years of being on NFL staffs and a balance of youth and enthusiasm to recruiting and coaching. Remember: He was playing cornerback in college just a little more than 10 years ago.
All the way around, the hire has fired up the UCLA football program.
“I’m excited to welcome D’Anton Lynn and his family to Westwood,” said UCLA athletics director Martin Jarmond. “He comes highly regarded for his character, values, and commitment to developing young men. He joins a talented staff dedicated to providing an elite experience for our student-athletes.”
For More Great Football Content
Follow us on Twitter at @GridironHeroics for more great content. We appreciate you taking time to read our articles. To interact more with our community and keep up to date on the latest in Football news, JOIN OUR FREE FACEBOOK GROUP by CLICKING HERE