D’Anton Lynn Officially Named UCLA Football’s Defensive Coordinator

The Ravens’ safeties coach is coming to Westwood to replace Bill McGovern, who will be the Bruins’ director of football administration.

A few days after reports first surfaced, the Bruins have confirmed they are making a major change to their coaching staff.

UCLA football officially introduced Baltimore Ravens safeties coach D’Anton Lynn as its next defensive coordinator on Monday. On3 Sports and 247Sports were among the outlets who initially broke the news back on Wednesday night, and now the move has been locked in by the Bruins.

“We are excited to add D’Anton to our staff as defensive coordinator,” coach Chip Kelly said in a press release. “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

Lynn’s arrival means the end of Bill McGovern’s one-year tenure as UCLA’s defensive coordinator. McGovern will remain on Kelly’s staff, however, taking over as the program’s director of football administration.

The Bruins allowed more points and yards per game in 2022 than they did under Jerry Azzinaro in 2021. The 29.0 points McGovern’s unit allowed per game ranked No. 92 in the country, and the secondary that allowed 273.0 passing yards per game ranked No. 117 in the FBS and eighth-worst among Power Five teams.

McGovern also faced health issues that kept him out of UCLA’s final five games of the regular season, and while he told reporters at the Sun Bowl that he would be returning for 2023, buzz of the Bruins bringing in a new defensive coordinator were present throughout the first two months of the offseason.

“We are grateful to Billy and his family for their commitment to our program,” Kelly said in his statement. “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.”

Although Lynn does not have a particularly reminiscent profile to McGovern – who himself had a very similar resume to Azzinaro when he signed on last February – he will become the third defensive coordinator of the Chip Kelly era to join the Bruins from the NFL ranks.

Lynn, who is the son of former Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn, spent the past two seasons in Baltimore. Before that, D’Anton Lynn had stints with the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Chargers and Houston Texans.

Since his four-year career as a cornerback at Penn State, Lynn has not picked up any additional experience in the college game. Lynn’s playing career came to an end after one preseason with the Jets and a year with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Canadian Football League.

Lynn spent nine years in the NFL as a seasonal intern, defensive assistant, secondary coach and safeties coach. He has been on staffs led by John Harbaugh, Bill O’Brien, Rex Ryan and his father, who is now the assistant head coach for the San Francisco 49ers.

Unlike Kelly’s last two defensive coordinator hires, Lynn has no experience in the position at any level. Azzinaro and McGovern had gone over 10 years between defensive coordinator gigs, though, so it wasn’t as if those two had experience in the role in the modern game either.

Lynn is 33 years old, Black and from Texas, as opposed to the middle aged, white New Englanders who Kelly hired in the last two cycles. UCLA had 13 defensive coordinators between 1996 and 2022, and only one was Black – DeWayne Walker, who was with the Bruins from 2006 to 2008.

UCLA announced several other coaching moves in their release introducing Lynn.

Outside linebackers coach Ikaika Malloe is adding defensive line coach to his list of duties, filling the void left by Chad Kauha’aha’a, who agreed to part ways with the program in January. Assistant head coach and passing game coordinator Brian Norwood has swapped out his defensive backs coach title for a safeties coach title, since UCLA had hired Kodi Whitfield as cornerbacks coach in January.

Running backs coach DeShaun Foster, who is the longest-tenured member of the full-time coaching staff, was also named an associate head coach.

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