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UCLA football’s D’Anton Lynn to succeed Alex Grinch as USC defensive coordinator

UCLA football defensive coordinator D’Anton Lynn works with senior defensive back John Humphrey during practice. (Brandon Morquecho/Assistant Photo editor)

By Joseph Crosby

Dec. 1, 2023 5:48 p.m.

UCLA football has lost another key piece – this time to its crosstown rival. 

USC is planning to hire UCLA defensive coordinator D’Anton Lynn, ESPN college football senior writer Pete Thamel reported Friday evening. The Trojans – who possess the 120th-ranked total defense in the nation – fired former defensive coordinator Alex Grinch on Nov. 5 and have seemingly finished their search for a replacement. 

In the 2023 rivalry game, Lynn’s defense held USC to its lowest scoring output of the season, a 20-point day that tied with its performance against Notre Dame. The Trojans tallied three net rushing yards – a season-best performance for a Bruin defense that allowed more than 100 rushing yards in just four of 12 games.

With Lynn as UCLA’s defensive coordinator, the Bruins improved from 2022 in scoring, rushing, passing and total defense. UCLA had the No. 1 rushing defense, No. 11 total defense, No. 16 scoring defense and No. 71 passing defense. Last year, the Bruins ranked 34th, 89th, 89th and 119th in those same categories. 

Lynn – who was previously the safeties coach for the Baltimore Ravens before coming to Westwood  – was on a two-year contract with the Bruins, according to the Los Angeles Times. Following UCLA’s loss to California to end the regular season, coach Chip Kelly said that while he’s not in charge of contracts, he preferred to retain Lynn. 

“I know our administration knows how valuable D’Anton is to us. He’s done a tremendous job, and he’s a really, really good football coach,” Kelly said. “He’s probably a better person than he is a football coach, and he’s a really good football coach, so we’d love to keep D’Anton around here.”

With the loss of Lynn, UCLA will now be searching for its fourth defensive coordinator in four seasons.

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Joseph Crosby | Sports editor
Crosby is the 2023-2024 Sports editor on the football, men's basketball and NIL beats. He was previously an assistant Sports editor on the baseball, women's golf, men's water polo and women's water polo beats and a contributor on the baseball and women's golf beats. He is also a fourth-year statistics student.
Crosby is the 2023-2024 Sports editor on the football, men's basketball and NIL beats. He was previously an assistant Sports editor on the baseball, women's golf, men's water polo and women's water polo beats and a contributor on the baseball and women's golf beats. He is also a fourth-year statistics student.
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