UCLA hires Sal Alosi as assistant

Updated: January 10, 2012, 9:15 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

LOS ANGELES -- Sal Alosi, the former New York Jets assistant coach who resigned last year after tripping an opposing player on the sideline, has been hired by UCLA as its strength and conditioning coordinator.

After leaving the Jets, Alosi worked as a personal trainer out of his home in New Jersey before being hired by Bryant College in Rhode Island. He appreciated the opportunity afforded by Bryant, but considered it a steppingstone to a bigger job. He was on UCLA coach Jim Mora's staff with the Falcons in 2006.

[+] EnlargeSal Alosi
William Perlman/The Star-Ledger/US PresswireSal Alosi famously resigned from the Jets after intentionally tripping a Dolphins player on the sideline in a 2010 game at MetLife Stadium.

In December 2010, Alosi became a national story when he tripped Dolphins player Nolan Carroll while Carroll was running along the Jets' sideline. Alosi may have been able to survive that, but his time with the Jets essentially came to an end when the organization determined he had instructed inactive players to form a "wall" along the boundary to deter Miami players.

Initially, Alosi was suspended for the remainder of the season and fined $25,000, but the Jets suspended him indefinitely after determining he instructed players to stand in a wall formation.

The NFL came down hard on the Jets to the tune of a $100,000 fine. On Jan. 31, the team announced Alosi's resignation. Coach Rex Ryan, referring to the incident in his book, called it "a stupid mistake ... But I think he's a hell of a coach."

Efforts to reach Alosi were unsuccessful last April when he was training Jets players D'Brickashaw Ferguson and defensive end Mike DeVito during the NFL's lockout when players were barred from team facilities.

"I wanted to work with a coach that knows how to train NFL players," DeVito told ESPNNewYork.com in an April phone interview. "Every year that I've worked with Sal, I got that much better. I trust him and I buy into his program. I wanted to make sure I stayed on the same track. Sal is the best strength coach I've ever been around."

Alosi likely signed a confidentiality agreement upon his resignation, prohibiting him from commenting on anything pertaining to his time with the Jets. In April, a woman who answered the phone at his parents' home on Long Island told a reporter, "You have the wrong number" -- and hung up.

UCLA on Monday also announced the hiring of Eric Yarber as wide receivers coach. Yarber was the receivers coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the past two seasons and has strong ties to Los Angeles, having attended Crenshaw High School and Los Angeles Valley College before transferring to Idaho. He previously was an assistant at Arizona State, Washington, the San Francisco 49ers, UNLV and Idaho.

In addition, special teams coach/recruiting coordinator Angus McClure has been reassigned to defensive line coach/recruiting coordinator, while defensive line coach Inoke Breckterfield was offered the opportunity to remain on staff in a football operations role.

"These coaches are all important elements to us moving our program forward," Mora said in a statement. "We welcome them, as coaches and teachers on and off the field, to the UCLA football family."

The hirings leave the defensive coordinator position as the only open spot on UCLA's staff. A deal was in place to hire San Diego Chargers linebackers coach John Pagano before Pagano was promoted to defensive coordinator of the Chargers last week. Mora hopes to have an announcement for that role by the end of the week, according to a school statement.

Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini, ESPNLosAngeles.com's Peter Yoon and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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