The long anticipated move away from Norm Chow has finally happened at UCLA. Bruins Nation passed along word of a report from Bruin Report Online’s Tracy Pierson that 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Johnson has been hired as UCLA’s new OC, replacing Chow. The news was also tweeted by Bruins safety Dietrich Riley who said “congrats 2 Coach Mike Johnson for joining the UCLA program and becoming our Off Coor. Now lets get a D Coor!!” Chow still is on the staff and has been offered the team’s quarterback coach position according to David Vassegh, but Chow almost assuredly wouldn’t take such a step backwards.
Chow came to UCLA three years ago to much fanfare given his previously peerless reputation. But after largely having little success with the Tennessee Titans, Chow’s offense failed to produce at UCLA. The Bruins went 4-8, 7-6, and 4-8 in Chow’s three years on the staff, ranking 109th, 94th, and 104th in the country in scoring offense. While head coach Rick Neuheisel made quick work of Chuck Bullough, firing the former defensive coordinator in December, he was slower to replace Chow.
Johnson was in his first season ever as an offensive coordinator, getting promoted to the position after Jimmy Raye was fired in San Francisco mid-season. With Mike Singletary being replaced by Jim Harbaugh as head coach, the coaches’ jobs were not safe, so Johnson has decided to move to UCLA. Johnson, who previously served as both a wide receivers and quarterbacks coach at various collegiate and professional stops, was on the Baltimore Ravens staff with Neuheisel in 2006 and 2007. We have been told that Neuheisel, who already is offensively-oriented as a coach, will likely have an even bigger role working with the team’s offense.Google+