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Ikaika Malloe promoted to UCLA football defensive coordinator

Defensive line and outside linebackers coach Ikaika Malloe looks onto the field from the sideline. Malloe was promoted to become UCLA football’s new defensive coordinator Wednesday morning. (Joseph Jimenez/Photo editor)

By Joseph Crosby

Jan. 3, 2024 12:21 p.m.

The Bruins are hiring from within to fill their defensive coordinator vacancy. 

UCLA football announced Wednesday morning defensive line and outside linebackers coach Ikaika Malloe was promoted to defensive coordinator, replacing D’Anton Lynn, who filled the same role at USC. Malloe recently completed his second season as a member of the Bruins’ coaching staff, first serving as outside linebackers coach and special teams coordinator in 2022 before adding the defensive line to his duties in 2023. 

“Ikaika has a track record of developing NFL talent on the field and outstanding young men off it,” said coach Chip Kelly in a statement. “I am excited to watch this next step for him and our team.”

UCLA’s defense ranked sixth in the nation in sacks and third in tackles for loss in 2023, with much of that production coming from its defensive lineman and outside linebackers. The most notable among them is senior defensive lineman Laiatu Latu, who paced the team in both sacks and tackles for loss and is a projected first round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. 

With his hiring, Malloe becomes UCLA’s fourth defensive coordinator in as many years. He was tasked with play calling for the defense in Lynn’s place in the LA Bowl against Boise State, holding the Broncos to 22 points and 332 total yards in the Bruins’ win.

Malloe is the first internal defensive coordinator hire by Kelly in his six-year tenure with UCLA. However, he brings experience to the role, serving as a co-defensive coordinator at Washington for two seasons in 2020 and 2021, as well as a three-year stint as Yale’s defensive coordinator from 2009 to 2011. 

According to Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times, the Bruins have not yet decided if Malloe will continue to coach the defensive line and outside linebackers as the defensive coordinator. During his last two years at Washington, Malloe coached specific units while serving as co-defensive coordinator. 

Malloe’s promotion marks the first hiring for vacated positions on Kelly’s staff. But with the departures of quarterbacks coach Ryan Gunderson to Oregon State and tight ends coach Jeff Faris to Austin Peay, there are still gaps to fill. 

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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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