UCLA hires D’Anton Lynn as defensive coordinator, moves Bill McGovern to off-field role

UCLA has hired Baltimore Ravens safety coach D’Anton Lynn as its new defensive coordinator, the university said on Monday. Lynn, the son of former Los Angeles Chargers coach Anthony Lynn, spent eight years as an NFL assistant after a three-time Big Ten career in Pennsylvania.

Lynn will replace Bill McGovern, who coached the Philadelphia Eagles under Chip Kelly and missed the final six weeks of the 2022 season due to health issues. McGovern will remain on staff as director of off-field football administration.

“We are pleased to add D’Anton to our state as a defense coordinator,” Kelly said in a statement. “His energy and enthusiasm, as well as his experience, will have an immediate impact. I look forward to seeing how he develops our players both on and off the pitch.”

Lynn, 33, began his career by following his father to Buffalo and Los Angeles and later joined former Penn State coach Bill O’Brien with the Houston Texans. However, for the last two years he has been a safety coach under John Harbaugh in Baltimore. Michigan coaches Jim and John Harbaugh changed defensive assistants multiple times. Lynn worked under former Michigan defensive coordinator Mike McDonald in his final season in Baltimore. He was also the head coach for the 2022 East-West Shrine Bowl.

Lynn is now tasked with bolstering a defense that ranks among the bottom 40 units in the country in both scoring and overall defense. The Bruins were especially bad against passes, passing for over 273 yards per game. In losses, UCLA lost 41 points and 327 yards on the game. The Ravens only averaged 18.8 points per game from the opposition, enough for a 3rd-place finish in the NFL.

While Lynn’s main focus has been safety in the NFL, assistant Brian Norwood will coach the position in 2023 and serve as defensive game coordinator. In addition, Ikaika Malloe added the title of defensive line coach and running back coach DeSean Foster added the title of assistant head coach. Cody Whitfield appointed cornerback coach.

The hiring of Lynn is just the latest wave of recruitment of young coordinators by major programs. Alabama poached Tommy Rees, 30, as the new offensive coordinator from Notre Dame. Florida tapped Austin Armstrong, 29, for protection. Pete Golding, 39, left Alabama for take on the role of defense coordinator in Ole Miss, and 32-year-old Kenny Dillingham became one of youngest head coaches in a country in Arizona.


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