UCLA has hired Washington Redskins linebackers coach Lou Spanos as the Bruins’ defensive coordinator, the school announced Tuesday.
“I am thrilled a coach with Lou’s NFL background and defensive pedigree has agreed to join our staff. Now that our coaching staff is complete, I’d like to thank Dan Guerrero for his support as we sought to bring the finest coaches in football to UCLA,” coach Jim Mora said in a statement. “We have a collection of men that will not only be mentors to our student-athletes, but given their experience at the highest levels of football, will also be able to provide them a blueprint for competing and winning, and reaching their athletic potential.”
Spanos, not unlike Mora, has basically no college coaching experience. He likely will need a crash course in defending the spread and spread-option offenses that have proliferated in the Pac-12.
But this will impress incoming recruits about Mora and his staff: They have more than 90 years of experience in NFL as either players or coaches.
Here's the rest of the press release:
In 2011, under the tutelage of Spanos, Redskin inside linebacker London Fletcher led the NFL with 166 total tackles: Fletcher is slated to be the only Washington representative in the 2012 Pro Bowl. In Spanos’ first season in Washington (2010), Fletcher (136) and fellow Redskins linebacker Rocky McIntosh (110) each recorded more than 100 tackles -- Fletcher and outside linebacker Brian Orakpo were named to the NFC Pro Bowl roster.
Prior to joining Mike Shanahan’s staff in Washington, Spanos was an assistant with the Pittsburgh Steelers. During his 15 seasons in Pittsburgh, the defense ranked among the top 10 in the NFL 13 times, including four No. 1 rankings.
Spanos worked closely with the linebackers and secondary and was one of only three assistant coaches to be with the Steelers for their Super Bowl XXX, Super Bowl XL and Super Bowl XLIII appearances. He is the second Bruin assistant with extensive Super Bowl experience; Offensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator Adrian Klemm won three world championships as a member of the New England Patriots. All told, Mora and his staff have more than 90 years of experience in the NFL as either players or coaches.
Spanos coached nine different Steelers linebackers who combined for 19 Pro Bowl appearances -- Kevin Greene (2), Greg Lloyd (2), Chad Brown (1), Levon Kirkland (2), Jason Gildon (3), Kendrell Bell (1), Joey Porter (3), James Farrior (2) and James Harrison (3).
Spanos joined the Steelers in 1994 as an intern in the scouting department before being promoted to a defensive assistant after one season. A 1994 graduate of Tulsa, he was a four-year letterman and starter at center. After his playing career ended in 1992, he remained at Tulsa as a student assistant, working with the linebackers.