Rick Kimbrel

Rick Kimbrel

Rick Kimbrel, the former managing editor of PrepStar magazine, is nationally recognized as one of the leading authorities on college football recruiting. The veteran analyst and reporter was key in first making Blue Chip Illustrated and then PrepStar Magazine a recruiting publication standard.

Kimbrel has written for CBS Sportsline, ESPN.com, CNN-SI, The Sporting News, Athlon's, Lindy's, Football News, and numerous other publications. He has also consulted on All-America teams for Parade Magazine and Street and Smith's. Most recently, Rick was the West Coast Recruiting Editor for Rivals.com, national recruiting consultant for Rivals.com and publisher of BruinBlitz.com.

Rick has been a featured guest on many television shows around the nation including Prime Ticket, Fox Sports, Fox Sports West, CNN, CNN-SI and numerous local and regional stations. Kimbrel is also a highly sought after guest on radio broadcasts from coast-to-coast.

Thursday, 14 December 2017 00:45

UCLA Hires Paul Rhoads as Defensive Backs Coach

UCLA Hires Paul Rhoads as Defensive Backs Coach

LOS ANGELES- UCLA Head Football Coach Chip Kelly announced today the hiring of Paul Rhoads as the team's defensive backs coach.

A veteran of 10 bowl games, Rhoads has mentored six defensive backs who have been selected in the NFL Draft, highlighted by seven-time Pro Bowl selection and 2009 AFC Defensive Player of the Year Darrelle Revis.

Rhoads most recently served as the interim head coach at Arkansas following the November dismissal of Bret Bielema. Rhoads was in his first season as the Razorbacks' defensive coordinator after leading their defensive backs unit the year prior.

Prior to joining Bielema's staff on February 24, 2016, Rhoads spent 16 years as either a head coach or defensive coordinator at Iowa State, Pittsburgh and Auburn, including the previous seven seasons (2009-15) as Iowa State's head coach.

In 2016, Arkansas' secondary forced 10 interceptions, returning four of those for touchdowns. The four interceptions returned for scores were the program's most in one season since at least 1985, tying for fourth-most in the nation and second-most in the SEC. Three different Arkansas defensive backs recorded two interceptions apiece, including sophomore cornerback Ryan Pulley, who added 13 pass breakups to rank second in the SEC and tie for 12th nationally. In addition, senior cornerback Jared Collins tied for third in the SEC and 18th nationally with 12 pass breakups. Arkansas was one of just two schools in the conference with two players to rank in the top five of that category.

A native of Ankeny, Iowa, Rhoads guided the Cyclones to three bowl game appearances. He recorded four wins over ranked opponents, including three on the road – half of the school's all-time road victories over ranked teams.

Taking over a program that had gone a combined 8-27 the previous three seasons, Rhoads' success in his first season at Iowa State was underscored by his place as the first Cyclone football coach to win seven games in his initial campaign since 1907 and the first ISU coach since 1931 to post a winning record in his initial season. His first season as head coach was highlighted by the program's first win at Nebraska in 32 years and a victory over Minnesota in the Insight Bowl.

In addition, the Cyclones registered six Big 12 road victories under Rhoads. Prior to his arrival, the Cyclones had won just nine conference road games in the previous 17 seasons. Under Rhoads' direction, four linebackers garnered All-Big 12 first team honors, while two also received All-America accolades.

Rhoads spent the 2008 season as the defensive coordinator at Auburn under former head coach Tommy Tuberville, where his defense ranked 18th nationally in scoring, allowing 18.0 points per game and 178.8 yards passing to rank 22nd nationally.

From 2000-07, Rhoads served as defensive coordinator at Pittsburgh. Five of his defenses ranked in the nation's top 30 for scoring and three in the NCAA's top 12 for fewest yards allowed. Additionally, 14 of his Panther defenders earned All-Big East first team acclaim.

In 2006, The Sporting News named him the Big East's best defensive coordinator. His 2004 defense ranked ninth nationally with 17 interceptions and four defensive touchdowns, helping propel the Panthers to a Big East Conference championship and an appearance in the 2005 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

Under Rhoads' guidance at Pittsburgh, Revis was a two-time All-American, two-time All-Big East selection and a 2006 Jim Thorpe Award semifinalist. Bernard "Josh" Lay (2006, New Orleans Saints), Shawntae Spencer (2004, San Francisco 49ers), Torrie Cox (2003, Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and Ramon Walker (2002, Houston Texans) joined Revis as Panthers chosen in the NFL Draft during Rhoads' tenure.

During Rhoads' first stint at Iowa State (1995-1999), he served as the secondary coach his last four years after coaching the inside linebackers in 1995. He also assisted with the Cyclones' special teams.

Prior to Iowa State, Rhoads spent three years at Pacific (1992-94). In his first three seasons, he served as the defensive backs coach. The Tigers' defense ranked 20th nationally, allowing just 152 yards passing per game in 1993. In his final season, Rhoads coordinated the Tigers' pass defense.

Rhoads began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Ohio State (1991) and Utah State (1989-90), working with the secondary at both schools.

A three-year letter winner as a defensive back at Missouri Western, the 50-year-old Rhoads earned a bachelor's degree in economics in 1989. He and his wife Vickie have two sons, Jake and Wyatt.

Sunday, 10 December 2017 16:23

Bruins Lose Tough One On the Road

Holiday A Cal 022516A never say die Michigan (8-3) team had to overcome a second-half 15 point deficit to upend No. 23 ranked UCLA (7-2) in overtime, 78-69. In victory, the Wolverines remain unbeaten at the Crisler Center and stand a perfect 6-0.

“Proud of the guys’ effort as this is the first true road game,” UCLA coach Steve Alford said. “I thought we really did give great effort.

“In terms of our thought process, we just didn’t really think the way we’ve been thinking especially in the last six or seven minutes of the game.

“Give Michigan credit they made a huge run when they were down 15. A lot of that credit goes to how hard and smart their guys play.”

Though the Bruins gave a ton of effort, at times UCLA was very sloppy with the basketball. It showed up on the stat sheet, too, with a season-high 20 turnovers. The Wolverines outscored UCLA by 10 in points off of turnovers,  24-14 and that margin was the difference between winning and losing.

“We turned the ball over 20 times,” Alford said. “I thought that was the difference in the game. They turned it over 11 times, we turned it over 20. You can’t do that on the road.

“We got to the free-throw line, we out rebounded them, shooting percentages were about the same. We got beat form the 3-point line but we kind of figured that would happen especially in their building. I thought we defended the 3-point line pretty well.

“There were a lot of positives but we just did not make a lot of smart plays. We have five new guys playing their first true road game and I think that’s going to happen as long as we can learn from that.”

If the Bruins can learn from their mistakes this could end up being a pretty good basketball team and fun to watch.

Aaron Holiday led all scorers with his career high, 27 points. He also added a game-high seven assists. Thomas Welsh tied his career best, 22 points and had a game-high 10 boards.

UCLA will have a week to learn the tough lessons of this loss before returning to Pauley Pavilion to play No. 17 Cincinnati (7-2) next Saturday, Dec. 16. The contest against the Bearcats will once again be nationally televised by CBS. Game time is 12:30 PM PST.

Saturday, 09 December 2017 15:15

Bruins On the Road To Play Michgan

Ali UCIUCLA (7-1) finally will get back on the court after a cancellation of a mid-week game with Montana due to the firestorms in the Southern California area. The No. 23 rated Bruins will take their act back on the road and are headed to Ann Arbor, where Michigan (7-3), awaits.

The Bruins are coming off perhaps their best game of the season when they annihilated Detroit Mercy, 106-73. UCLA hit 52 percent from the floor, 44 percent on their three-point shots and 79 percent from the foul line.

UCLA was getting good shots because they were sharing the basketball which led to the Bruins dishing out 20 assists against, only eight turnovers. Gyorgy Golomon led the Bruins with five assists, with Prince Ali and Jaylen Hands tied with four each. Ali scored 20 points to with his four assists and Hands had a career-high 23 points off the bench for the Bruins, playing perhaps his best game of his young career.

Five Bruins will enter the game averaging in double figures with junior Aaron Holiday leading the way averaging 16.6 points per game. He also leads in assists, averaging 5.5 per game.

Senior Thomas Welsh is UCLA’s leading rebounder averting 10.9 boards a game. He also chips in 12.5 points per game and averages 1.4 blocks a game. Welsh has five double-double game this season.

True freshman Kris Wilkes averages 13.1 ppg, true freshman Jaylen Hands averages 12.9 ppg and sophomore guard Prince Ali averages 11.6 ppg to round the five UCLA players who average in double figures.

This will not be the first rodeo for these two teams. The Bruins and the Wolverines have played each other 17 times with the Bruins winning 12 of the contests, including last season when the Bruins beat the Michigan, 102-84 on December 10, 2016, in Pauley Pavilion.

Michigan is coached by one of the best in college basketball in John Beiline. He is now in his 11th year at the helm and he has guided the Wolverines to the NCAA Tournament seven out of the last 10 seasons.

The game will be played in Crisler Center, a venue that holds 12,707 fans. Tipoff is scheduled for 9:08 AM PST the contest will be televised nationally on CBS with Carter Blackburn doing the play-by-play, Bill Raftery analyzing the action, and John Schriffen working the sideline.

If you have to be out and about UCLA Sports Network from IMG will broadcast the game on AM 1150 Josh Lewin and UCLA great Tracy Murray performing their usual duties.

Thursday, 07 December 2017 15:02

Thinking UCLA Football

Jim MoraWhat a whirlwind of a season for the UCLA football team, undefeated at home and winless on the road. Bruin fans watched the Jim Mora era sink into the sunset, an era that once held such promise. What went wrong?

One could say that injuries played a large part of Mora and his program’s downfall. The mantra of next man up didn’t quite work when called upon, especially the injury to Josh Rosen in 2016. Once the Bruin quarterback went down, UCLA only won one more game all season.

The season of 2015 was very disappointing for the Bruins starting the season off with four straight wins and was ranked as high No. 7 in the nation. The Bruins finished the season 4-5, losing three out of the last four.  UCLA’s defense was getting what become all too familiar with Bruin fans, easy to run on and not being able to stop the run was the catalyst for the Bruin late-season losses. The feeling within the program was we have to become a more physical football team.

Mora wanted to change the direction of the program. The move was going towards a more physical brand of football on both sides of the ball.

Out went the high-flying Noel Mazzone offense and in came a more, hopefully, physical run-oriented system. Before the new offense in 2016 could really take flight, Rosen was hurt and missed the rest of the season.

Out went the entire offensive staff, except tight end coach, Rip Scherer. The offense was a pleasant surprise in 2017, but the defense reverted back to be porous against the run and the rumblings of the powerful within the alums became intense. The writing was on the wall.

After the loss to USC, it all came to a head and Mora was released. His overall record at UCLA was 46-30 while he was 28-26 in Pac-12 play, but more importantly, Mora was 29-11 during his first three years on the job and 17-19 his last three. Going into the 2017 season Mora was on the hot seat and he needed his team to perform better than 500. The writing was on the wall.

Still, Mora made positive contributions to the Bruin football program. During Mora’s first three seasons on the job, he was able to bring energy to the program that would motivate boosters to make significant upgrades to UCLA’s facilities. Without that excitement about the football program maybe everything would have stayed status quo, but the reality is UCLA has facilities second to none.

With the hiring of Chip Kelly will the program finally get the consistency it needs on both sides of the ball?

Being solid on one side and an Achilles Heel on the other has been a plague on this program way too often over the years. If Kelly can achieve the same kind of success at UCLA that he was able to obtain at Oregon then finally Bruin fans will get a taste of excellence in its football program so long desired and hoped for.

Wednesday, 06 December 2017 19:41

UCLA Vs. Montana Basketball Game Canceled

UCLA MEN’S BASKETBALL GAME VERSUS MONTANA HAS BEEN CANCELED

 

LOS ANGELESThe health and safety of student-athletes, staff, and fans is our top priority. Due to concerns stemming from area wildfires, tonight's men's basketball game vs. Montana has been canceled. All other team workouts and practices scheduled for today also have been canceled. 

 

Single-game ticket purchases for tonight's men's basketball game will be automatically refunded. UCLA men’s basketball season ticket holders will automatically receive a credit for the cost of tonight’s game to their UCLA ticket account.

 

Ticket purchasers with questions may contact the Central Ticket Office at 310-825-2946 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Wednesday, 06 December 2017 15:04

Steve Alford Weekly Presser

UCLA head basketball coach, Steve Alford, met with the Bruin beat media to discuss the coming Montana game, but most of the questions were about the departure of true freshman guard, Liangelo Ball. Enjoy!


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