UCLA’s Chip Kelly signs 2-year extension through 2027 season


LOS ANGELES — Chip Kelly signed a two-year extension with UCLA that keeps him under contract through 2027.

The Bruins were 8-4 last year and finished 21st in the final Associated Press Top 25 poll, the first time since 2014 that they had been ranked at the end of the season.

“I am excited about our football program under the leadership of Coach Kelly and his talented staff,” athletic director Martin Jarmond said in a statement. “The football program is on an upward trajectory, both on the field and in the classroom. Coach Kelly and his staff have done a tremendous job developing young men as demonstrated by their academic excellence.”

Kelly is 27-29 through five seasons in Westwood, but is 16-8 the past two years. He took over after Jim Mora Jr. was fired in 2017 and had a roster predominantly filled with underclassmen his first two seasons.

The Bruins were 3-9 in Kelly’s first year in 2018 and 4-8 the following season. During the shortened 2020 season, a turnaround began with a 3-4 mark.

Kelly – who is 72-36 as a college coach – signed a four-year contract last year.

UCLA will go into its final season in the Pac-12 with plenty of questions. The Bruins were fifth in the nation in total offense, but quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson graduated and running back Zach Charbonnet left early for the NFL draft.

Kelly will also have his third defensive coordinator in as many seasons after hiring D’Anton Lynn.

UCLA hires D’Anton Lynn as defensive coordinator

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LOS ANGELES – UCLA will have its third defensive coordinator in three years after the hiring of D’Anton Lynn on Monday.

This will be Lynn’s first stint as a coordinator after eight years as an NFL assistant. He was with the Baltimore Ravens for three seasons, including the past two as safeties coach.

Lynn replaces Bill McGovern, who will remain on staff as director of football administration.

McGovern was hired last year but missed most of the second half of the season due to health issues. Jerry Azzinaro was defensive coordinator during coach Chip Kelly‘s first four seasons in Westwood.

“We are excited to add D’Anton to our staff as defensive coordinator,” Kelly said in a statement. “His energy and enthusiasm, along with his experience, will make an immediate impact.”

Lynn also had tenures with the Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Chargers and Houston Texans. He was the head coach for the East for the 2022 East-West Shrine Bowl in Las Vegas.

Lynn is the son of San Francisco 49ers assistant and former Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn.

Lynn will seek to turn around a UCLA defense that was 87th nationally in total defense and 117th out of 131 teams against the pass. The Bruins were 9-4 last season and ranked 21st in the final AP Top 25.

UCLA has one more season in the Pac-12 before joining the Big Ten in 2024.

UCLA also announced that running backs coach DeShaun Foster will also serve as associate head coach, Ikaika Malloe will coach the defensive line and outside linebackers and Brian Norwood will be assistant head coach, passing game coordinator and safeties coach.

Late field goal puts Pitt over No. 18 UCLA 37-35 in Sun Bowl

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EL PASO, Texas — Ben Sauls kicked five field goals, including a 47-yarder in the final seconds, and Pitt beat No. 18 UCLA 37-35 in a back-and-forth Sun Bowl on Friday.

The Panthers (9-4), playing without five starters who opted out of the game, took advantage of five UCLA turnovers, including four interceptions.

“We were down a few guys and just found a way to win a football game,” Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi said. “One way or another, our guys found a way to get it done. I couldn’t be more proud of this team.”

Sauls, who was named the game’s Special Teams MVP, got his first start a year ago.

“Flip it a year from then and we’re kicking game-winners and going 5 for 5,” Sauls said. “You are what you tell yourself. And at the end of the day, I really think I’m a decent kicker.”

UCLA (9-4) grabbed a 35-34 lead on T.J. Harden’s 8-yard touchdown run with 34 seconds remaining. The late scoring drive started at the UCLA 25-yard line with less than two minutes left, and was keyed by a 34-yard run by Harden.

“I thought both teams played their hearts out,” UCLA coach Chip Kelly said. “It was a heck of a game.”

Pitt quarterback Nick Patti had completions of 18 yards to Jared Wayne and 17 yards to Bub Means on the ensuing drive. After spiking the ball to stop the clock, Patti scrambled for 11 yards to the UCLA 29-yard line. After another spike with 10 seconds left, Sauls came on to kick the game-winner.

Sophomore Rodney Hammond Jr., the game’s MVP, rushed for 89 yards and two TDs for the Panthers, who were without running back Israel Abanikanda, the nation’s leader in total TDs with 22.

The Bruins, who led 21-14 at halftime, played without star senior running back Zach Charbonnet. Harden finished with 111 yards on 11 carries.

UCLA was in control after Jaylin Davies intercepted Patti and returned it 52 yards to make it 28-14 with 8:45 to go in the third quarter. But Pitt responded with 20 straight points.

UCLA senior Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who was injured and didn’t return to the game after throwing an interception early in the fourth, threw for 271 yards on 16-of-24 passing. He had three interceptions, and Ethan Garbers also threw an interception on the game’s final play.

Pitt got picks from Tylar Wiltz, Javon McIntyre, Bengally Kamara and M.J. Devonshire, and added a fumble recovery on a kickoff.


Pitt: The Panthers came into the game with a top-20 defense and a top-10 run defense, and that defense showed up in a big way, limiting UCLA to 141 yards rushing and forcing five Bruins turnovers.

UCLA: Turnovers and special teams hurt the Bruins. Thompson-Robinson threw three interceptions for only the second time this season – the other was a 48-45 loss to Southern California. UCLA had consecutive misplayed kickoff returns in the fourth quarter. The first was a fumbled kick that the Panthers turned into a field goal and a 31-28 lead. The second pinned the Bruins at their own 5-yard line and led to a punt and a Pitt field goal.


Pitt: Since Kedon Slovis transferred to BYU and Patti is a senior, the Panthers will look to either transfer Phil Jurkovec, a three-year starter from Boston College, or freshman Nate Yarnell as next year’s starter.

UCLA: The Bruins have to replace a lot of offense, but they brought in QB prospect Dante Moore from Detroit, a heralded recruit who originally committed to Oregon. He is expected to compete with transfer Collin Schlee from Kent State and Garbers. At running back, former Army standout Anthony Adkins has transferred to UCLA. He’ll compete with Harden and redshirt junior Keegan Jones, who had 20 yards on 7 carries.


Pitt: Begins 2023 season Sept. 2 at home against Wofford.

UCLA: Begins 2023 season Sept. 2 at home against Coastal Carolina.