The Bruins have officially made an addition to their offensive staff.
UCLA football announced it had hired Duke quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator Jeff Faris as its new tight ends coach Wednesday morning. Faris has spent the last 14 years in Durham, first as a player, then as a coach for the past decade.
Faris will step in and replace Derek Sage, who was the Bruins' tight ends coach the past four seasons until he left to become the next offensive coordinator at Nevada earlier in January.
While with the Blue Devils, Faris held multiple different positions, starting with wide receivers coach in 2014, then adding offensive recruiting coordinator in 2017 and moving over to tight ends coach in 2018. Faris became the quarterbacks coach, co-offensive coordinator and primary play-caller for Duke in 2021 as part of a staffing shakeup by coach David Cutcliffe, who was fired earlier this offseason after 14 years in Durham.
Faris, who enrolled to play safety at Duke the same year Cutcliffe started, will therefore be leaving the school in the wake of the man who brought him there over a decade ago.
The addition of Faris means three of UCLA's six coaching openings have already been filled, with Chad Kauha'aha'a and Ikaika Molloe replacing Johnny Nansen and Jason Kaufusi as defensive line coach and outside linebackers coach, respectively, after the pair left for Arizona in December. Offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Justin Frye's positions are still vacant after he left for Ohio State, while no replacement has been named for resigned defensive coordinator Jerry Azzinaro. Sage's dual-role of being special teams coordinator also remains unfilled.
Like Kauha'aha'a and Molloe, Faris has a solid reputation as a recruiter, and has similarly helped develop and produce talent on the field as well. Faris was named the 2018 AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year, which no UCLA position coach has ever won since its inception in 1997.
In his time as tight ends coach, Faris led Daniel Helm, Davis Koppenhaver and Noah Gray, the latter of which was a fifth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft while the former two both signed undrafted free agent contracts. Sage guided Caleb Wilson, Devin Asiasi and Greg Dulcich to NFL futures during his time in Westwood, so it seems UCLA's tight end pipeline has a chance to stay afloat under Faris.
Faris also worked with several record-setting receivers at Duke, most notably Jamison Crowder. More recently, Faris recruited, coached and became close with receiver Jake Bobo, who already transferred from Duke to UCLA earlier this offseason.
The 6-foot-5 Bobo racked up 801 yards on 74 receptions en route to an All-ACC Third Team spot in 2021, and with receivers Kyle Philips, Chase Cota and Keontez Lewis no longer with UCLA, he has a chance to step right in and match that production in blue and gold this upcoming season.
Faris will primarily be working with tight ends Michael Ezeike, Mike Martinez and David Priebe in 2022, in addition to incoming consensus four-star recruits Carsen Ryan and Jack Pedersen. The play-calling duties Faris held for a year at Duke will be absorbed by coach Chip Kelly, who has handled that aspect for as long as he has been with the Bruins, leading them to a top-10 offense in 2021 in the process.