Ikaika Malloe Promoted To Defensive Coordinator For UCLA Football

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After D’Anton Lynn left for crosstown rival USC, the UCLA Football program was left with a massive hole at the defensive coordinator position. It was just announced that Chip Kelly and the UCLA Bruins have promoted Ikaika Malloe to fill that role.

Malloe holds more than 20 years of college coaching experience and joined the UCLA Bruins staff in 2021. He was in charge of the outside linebackers in 2021 but was given control over the defensive line as well in 2022.

He has five years of experience as a defensive coordinator, including two as co-leader for Washington.

UCLA had the 10th-ranked total defense in 2023 (301.5 yards per game), the second-best in rushing defense (80.8 yards per game), third in team tackles for loss (8.1 per game), and fifth in team sacks (3.31 per game). Each stat was the best in the PAC 12 conference.

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

Malloe was the defensive play-caller for the Bruins’ 35-22 win over Boise State in the LA Bowl Hosted by Gronk.

There were some who wanted Chip Kelly to go outside of the program for this hire, but at the same time, if you want to build off of what the defense accomplished in 2023, it was wise to hire within and keep some continuity.

The UCLA Bruins will be losing a lot of playmakers on the defensive side of the ball, including elite pass-rusher Laiatu Latu. Malloe will be tasked with rebuilding the front seven along with keeping the unit cohesive.