UCLA defensive backs coach Carnell Lake steps down

Carnell Lake, who served as UCLA's defensive backs coach last season, has stepped down due to family reasons, according to a press release from the program.

"Carnell did a great job coaching our cornerbacks last season and will always be remembered as a great Bruin," coach Rick Neuheiselsaid. "Carnell is also a great father and he felt this was in the best interest of his family. We wish him all the best in the future and know he will still be involved in our program as a proud alum."

UCLA ranked 28th in the country in pass defense last season.

Cornerback Alterraun Verner earned All-American accolades from various publications and is now training in Arizona for next week's NFL Combine. At safety, Rahim Moore led the nation with 10 interceptions and fellow sophomore Tony Dyebecame one of the Bruins' most consistent tacklers.

Lake's departure may most be felt in the progression of youngsters Sheldon Price and Aaron Hester, among others. Price made 11 starts, but was the weak-link in UCLA's defense after replacing the injured Hester. As you may recall, Price was the one who was beat on the final USC touchdown.

Hester broke his leg in the season-opener and didn't play the rest of the season, but he has the potential to be the Bruins' best corner.

"I want to thank coach Neuheisel for the opportunity he presented to me and I want to thank the members of the staff for allowing me to work with them the past year," Lake said. "I truly enjoyed my time working with the fine young men on our team."