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UCLA has officially announced the hiring of Tom Bradley as Defensive Coordinator, and as BruinAuthority.com was one of the very first to report, UCLA Football Intern Scott White has been promoted to Linebackers and Special Teams Coach, and Tommy Donatell has been brought in as a graduate assistant. UCLA also announced that Demetrice Martin has been promoted to Assistant Head Coach.
Tom “Scrap” Bradley
UCLA Defensive Coordinator
Present UCLA (Defensive Coordinator)
2014 West Virginia (Assistant Head Coach)
2011 Penn State (interim Head Coach)
2000-2011 Penn State (Defensive Coordinator/Defensive backs/Assistant Head Coach)
1996-1999 Penn State (Defensive Backs)
1985-1995 Penn State (Outside Linebackers/Special Teams)
1983-1985 Penn State (Wide Receivers)
1981-1983 Penn State (Running Backs)
1979-1981 Penn State (Defensive Backs)
1979 Penn State (Graduate Assistant)
1975-1978 Penn State (player/defensive back)
While we have some reservations about Bradley, we are also realists, and know there is no perfect coach. He is probably about as close as possible.
Our concerns were based on Bradley having never lived or coached outside of the Pennsylvania area, his entire family is in that same area, and his entire career and knowledge base is almost exclusively tied to one school. As he is now approaching 60 he will be taking a job across the country in a very different environment. What we don’t want is a new Defensive Coordinator again next season (3 in 3 seasons). Perhaps the challenge of coaching defense in the PAC-12 and trying to stop the most diverse and sophisticated offenses in the country is the allure.
Regardless, his credibility in football coaching circles is at the highest level. He has coached 18 All-Americans, 43 All-Conference players and 51 players who made it to the National Football League. His defenses at Penn State usually played at a very high level. The one exception that relates to UCLA was his lone game against USC in the 2009 Rose Bowl. 8th ranked Penn State’s defense was dismantled by USC as the Trojans put up 31 points in the first half, and Mark Sanchez passed for 413 yards, the second most in Rose Bowl history. Hopefully, that embarrassment has left a bitter taste in Bradley’s mouth and will help ensure the winning streak over the Trojans.
We have asked our friends in the Keystone State about him, and we heard noting but praise. There was not one statement of “he was good BUT…” Everything was positive from his character, to his coaching, to his recruiting. By all accounts, his players loved him as well.
Bottom line is we are happy to have Bradley and welcome him to the Bruin family. He is a terrific addition to the staff.
Linebacker/Special Teams Coach
Scott White’s experience:
Present UCLA Linebackers/Special Teams
2014 UCLA Football Intern
2011-2013 UCLA (Graduate Assistant)
2010 Palomar College (Linebackers Coach)
2009 Central Washington University (Linebackers Coach)
2003-2006 University of Washington (player and played in 45 career games)
1998-2001 Mission Bay High School (player and CIF-San Diego Section Defensive Player of the Year in 2001)
As for White, this is a huge promotion for him. Taking responsibility for all linebackers and special teams is a very big jump for someone who was a graduate assistant coach two years ago, and a Football Intern this past year.
However, we hear that White is a great fit for the position, expected to be a strong recruiter, and we believe will do well. We also suspect that Bradley will play somewhat of a mentor role to White anyway so ultimately, we are very happy with both coaches, and consider them to be upgrades to Ulbrich and Tuiasosopo.
White helped Ulbrich with linebackers the past two seasons. White has some limited coaching experience and probably always had the inside track since he is already in the program. Pretty good linebacker in college at the University of Washington where he had ties to Rick Neuheisel. While a solid player throughout his playing days, there was some controversy when he quit the team after being told he had lost his starting job. It was soon patched over and he was allowed back on the team. We would have preferred someone with more experience but we also hear he has great potential as a recruiter, and that has to be considered. White was interviewed last year and was a finalist for the same position that ultimately went to Mike Tuiasosopo.
2015 UCLA Graduate Assistant
2013-2014 University of South Florida (Graduate Assistant/defensive backs)
2008-2012 University of Iowa (player/strong safety)
Peachtree Ridge High School, Duluth, Georgia (player/quarterback)
Although not announced, but also coming on board is NFL Defensive Back Coach Ed Donatell’s son, Tommy Donatell as a graduate assistant coach. Being an NFL coach’s son Donatell has grown up around the game. Considered a scrappy player, Donatell was lightly recruited as a quarterback out of high school because of two torn ACL’s. While in high school he made all-conference, was the team captain, and played safety in addition to quarterback. He ended up at Iowa as a preferred walk-on. At Iowa, Donatell was moved all over the place and while he began as a quarterback, he moved to defense, worked his way into the rotation, earned a scholarship, and eventually had starts at both safety and linebacker.
After graduating from Iowa, Donatell spent the past two years on the University of South Florida’s defensive staff, and primarily worked with defensive backs.
Donatell is coming to UCLA as a graduate assistant, just as he was at South Florida. There is no doubt that the long standing friendship of Donatell’s father Ed, and Coach Mora influenced the interest on both sides.
We don’t know what his specific coaching duties will be at UCLA, but we have heard he is high energy, a hard worker, and has the ability to be a very good recruiter. As we mentioned on our Coaching Hot Board, the arrival of Donatell allowed us to accurately predict the promotion of intern Scott White to the linebackers coach.
And on a side note, we have been told but have not verified, that Donatell has been linked romantically in the past to “Miss Iowa 2015.” Ooh la la.
— Tommy Donatell (@TDonatell) February 14, 2015
Here is a video interview we found of Donatell while still in college:
As for Demetrice Martin, strangely, UCLA announced his “promotion” from Assistant Head Coach/Passing Game Coordinator/Defensive Backs to Assistant Head Coach Defense/Secondary. Not sure how this translates into a promotion announcement, but was probably an internal way to increase his compensation.