LOS ANGELES — While all of the biggest coaching news took place in downtown Los Angeles, UCLA quietly dismissed running backs coach Steve Broussard on Monday.
“We appreciate the contributions Steve made to the UCLA football program the past two years and wish him much success in the future,” said head coach Jim Mora in a statement issued by UCLA.
Broussard, a Los Angeles native whose recruiting areas included Long Beach, the Inland Empire, Riverside County, Idaho and Washington, where he played collegiately for Washington State, signed only one running back during his two-season tenure with the Bruins. Craig Lee, a four-star product out of Redlands High School, took a redshirt this season and watched as UCLA struggled with a myriad of injuries in the backfield.
Quarterback Brett Hundley led the team in rushing after Jordon James went down with an injury late in the season. Damien Thigpen and Steven Manfro were also injured and when redshirt freshman Paul Perkins became the only available back, offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone began using freshman linebacker Myles Jack.
Prized five-star running back recruit Joe Mixon will be getting an in-home visit from the UCLA coaches this Wednesday at his Bay Area home in Oakley, Calif., But less than an hour after USC announced the hiring of new head coach Steve Sarkisian, Mixon announced that he is now considering the Bruins’ rival program, tweeting, “USC is now back in the picture for me. #Fighton.”
He later tweeted that the Bruins sent a slew of coaches up to his school. Mixon had recently visited the University of Washington.
Broussard had previously worked under Mazzone at Arizona State.
The Bruins have been on high-alert on the recruiting front now that the regular season is over. UCLA is expected to have two practices in preparation for a bowl game, a prime opportunity for recruits and their families to look at the program. A second-straight win against USC could be especially attractive for recruits.
“It shows you what’s going on here,” Mora said, following Saturday’s win. “It’s an exciting time here at UCLA. You want to play for a fun, tough, hard-nosed football team that can win games anywhere, come to UCLA.
“There’s something brewin’ over there.”
Jack Wins Pac-12 Freshman Player of the Year Lost in the shuffle of all of the other college football news in Los Angeles today was Jack making more history. For the first time ever, the Pac-12 Conference awarded the Freshman Offensive Player and Defensive Player of the Year awards to the same player — Myles Jack.
Jack scored seven touchdowns in only four games running the football and registered 70 tackles (five for loss) and was the top pass defender for the Bruins’ defense with 11 passes defended and 10 broken up.
A total of 20 Bruins earned all-conference honors. Jack became the first Bruin to win a player of the year award since Alterraun Verner in 2006.