Sports

UCLA coordinators Justin Frye, Derek Sage depart

As the fifth and final year of Chip Kelly’s current contract with UCLA begins on Sunday and contract talks remain ongoing, the head coach now must fill the third and fourth vacancies on his staff this offseason.

Coordinators Justin Frye (offense) and Derek Sage (special teams) officially confirmed that they’ll be moving on from Westwood to take jobs with other college programs.

Frye is headed to Ohio State as an associate head coach for offense and the offensive line coach. Sage was hired as Nevada’s offensive coordinator on Monday.

Frye’s hiring reunites him with Coach Ryan Day, who led the Buckeyes to a 48-45 victory over Utah in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1. Both previously worked together at Temple and Boston College.

Frye played a prominent role in the development of UCLA’s offense over the last four years. He spent the last three seasons as the Bruins’ offensive coordinator after being promoted from his role as run game coordinator after one season.

UCLA’s rushing game was among the best in the country this past season and finished 14th in the nation after averaging 215 yards per game behind the efforts of Zach Charbonnet and Brittain Brown. The Bruins ranked 12th (230.6 ypg) in 2020. Charbonnet is eligible to return next season. Brown is not and has declared for the 2022 NFL Draft.

Frye has also coached the offensive line over the last four seasons and has been responsible for recruiting and developing players such as junior left tackle Sean Rhyan.

Rhyan, a former four-star recruit from San Juan Hills High, started as a true freshman and started all 31 games during his three seasons with the program. On Monday, he became the third UCLA offensive lineman to declare for the draft, joining junior right tackle Alec Anderson (Etiwanda High) and sixth-year senior guard Paul Grattan.

Sage returns to Nevada, where he started his coaching career as a graduate assistant, for his first chance to be an offensive coordinator. He will also continue to coach the tight ends, as he did with the Bruins.

Sage helped develop NFL-level talent since arriving at UCLA in 2018. Sage was hired as a tight ends coach before adding the role of special teams coordinator in 2019.

Redshirt junior Greg Dulcich became the third starting tight end to declare early for the draft during Sage’s time at UCLA.

Dulcich, a St. Francis High product, went from being a walk-on, recruited by Sage, to a semifinalist for the 2021 John Mackey Award, which is awarded to the best tight end in the country.

Kelly has already filled two defensive coaching vacancies this offseason, adding Chad Kauha’aha’a (defensive linemen) and Ikaika Malloe (outside linebackers).

NEW COMMIT

Central Florida transfer Titus Mokiao-Atimalala tweeted his commitment to the Bruins on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-1, 175-pound athlete is a former four-star prospect out of Campbell High in Hawai’i. He had 170 receptions for 2,915 yards and 37 touchdowns in 32 high school games.



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