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Wednesday, February 24, 2010
UCLA hires Lea as linebackers coach

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

UCLA has promoted Clark Lea from graduate assistant to linebackers coach and assigned the entire secondary to assistant Tim Hundley.

Hundley shared responsibilities for the Bruins' secondary last year with cornerbacks coach Carnell Lake, who left the staff Monday for family reasons, according to the school.

The release announcing Lea's promotion said that although defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough was officially listed as the linebackers coach in 2009, Lea, a second-year graduate assistant, "was hands-on with the linebacking corps."

“Clark is an outstanding young coach with a very bright future,” UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel said in a statement. “I thought he did a fine job this past season with our group of linebackers. In addition, he is a dogged recruiter. Even though he was not allowed to go off-campus, he made a great impression on recruits and their families when they came to campus and built great relationships with several of the young men who signed with us, most notably Aramide Olaniyan.”

Lea (pronounced Lee) also coached as a Bruins graduate assistant under former defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker in 2006. In between his two stints as a UCLA GA, he served two seasons (2007 and 2008) as linebackers coach at South Dakota State and was recruiting coordinator the latter year.

In 2005, he served as an intern for the UCLA staff and also was an assistant football coach at Harvard-Westake High School.

Prior to UCLA, Lea served as an offensive graduate assistant at Vanderbilt, where he played fullback from 2002 to 2004, the final year as a graduate student.  

During his collegiate career, Lea was a member of the SEC Honor Roll and an All-Academic SEC honoree. He was also a John Wooden Cup finalist, a trophy awarded by Athletes for a Better World, and a National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame honoree. He earned a bachelor’s in political science from Vanderbilt in 2005 and a master's in political science from Vanderbilt in 2007.