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UCLA’s New Defensive Coordinator Is Bill McGovern

UCLA’s Bill McGovern

After a month of quiet on the topic UCLA’s new defensive coordinator is Bill McGovern. Various media outlets are reporting, and Last Word has independently confirmed, McGovern, most recently of the Chicago Bears, has been chosen by Chip Kelly to take over for Jerry Azzinaro who is retiring this month.

As we, and many others, reported last month, Azzinaro was retiring after four years as the defensive coordinator. UCLA has yet to confirm that, so no replacement names had been proffered. Last Word has confirmed with sources that McGovern is expected to be announced as the defensive coordinator later this week.

McGovern’s History

McGovern was the outside linebackers coach for Kelly with the Philadelphia Eagles from 2013-2015. Beyond that, he has several short stints in a coaching career that spans 38 years, mostly in the northeast. He is 61 years old.

He spent last year as the inside linebackers coach in Chicago. Prior to that he spent one season as a defensive assistant with Nebraska. He spent four seasons with the Giants as a linebackers coach, and then an inside linebackers coach in 2019.

His coaching career includes multiple stints at Holy Cross, UMass, and Boston College, as well as three years at Pitt as the defensive backs coach, and his one year in Lincoln. In all, he has spent approximately 29 years at the college level and eight in the NFL.

He has one year as a defensive coordinator at UMass, and three years at Boston College as a linebackers coach/defensive coordinator. Those were all prior to the 2013 season.

McGovern would be replacing Azzinaro, who spent four years under fire at UCLA for producing what was statistically one of the lower ranked defenses in the country every year. Azzinaro and McGovern both worked under Kelly with the Philadelphia Eagles.

McGovern played at Holy Cross where he was an All American defensive back in 1984.

Last Word has been told that the announcement of Azzinaro’s retirement and McGovern’s hiring will happen simultaneously.





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