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Jeff Ulbrich, who spent 10 seasons with the 49ers as an inside linebacker and special-teams contributor, was promoted to UCLA’s defensive coordinator on Saturday.
“Coach ‘Brick’ is a natural fit for this position, having run an NFL defense for years as a player while honing his abilities to get the most out of his players as a coach,” UCLA coach Jim Mora said in a statement. “We couldn’t be more excited about this move.”
Ulbrich, 36, a San Jose native, was a third-round draft pick of the 49ers in 2000. He started 75 games in his career, which ended in October 2009 when he was placed on injured reserve with a concussion. He retired at the end of the season and immediately sought to begin a career in coaching.
Ulbrich played under head coaches Steve Mariucci, Dennis Erickson, Mike Nolan and Mike Singletary during his NFL career, which he spent entirely with the 49ers.
Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll hired Ulbrich to his first coaching job as a special-teams assistant in 2010 and 2011. Mora, who coached Ulbrich during his time as 49ers defensive coordinator, hired Ulbrich as UCLA's special-teams coordinator/linebackers coach in 2012.
In addition to being the Bruins’ defensive coordinator, Ulbrich is also assistant head coach. He replaces former defensive coordinator Lou Spanos, now the linebackers coach for the Tennessee Titans.
In his two seasons as linebackers coach, Ulbrich helped lead the conversion of Anthony Barr, an H-back before Ulbrich arrived, to his current position as outside linebacker. Barr recorded 23.5 sacks the past two seasons and is likely to be a first-round pick in the NFL draft.