Michigan passing game coordinator Jedd Fisch has emerged as UCLA’s top candidate to become the Bruins’ new offensive coordinator and his hiring could be imminent, a person close to the situation said Monday.
Fisch, who has five years of experience as an offensive coordinator at the college and NFL levels, also served as the Wolverines’ quarterbacks and wide receivers coach the last two seasons in addition to his duties as the passing game coordinator.
He is expected to replace Kennedy Polamalu, who was dismissed in November after UCLA generated only 24.9 points per game and finished the season next to last in rushing among 128 Football Bowl Subdivision teams, averaging 84.3 yards per game on the ground.
Fisch, 40, would become UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen’s third offensive coordinator in as many seasons, though Rosen would be a first of sorts in recent years for Fisch, who has guided a new starting quarterback in each of his last six seasons with Michigan, Miami (Fla.) and the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars.
Michigan’s Wilton Speight recently completed a debut season as the starter in which he completed 61.6% of his passes for 2,538 yards and 18 touchdowns with seven interceptions. The Wolverines ranked only No. 86 in the country in passing yardage, averaging 212 per game, but were No. 42 in team passing efficiency and No. 11 in scoring offense, averaging 40.3 points per game.
Jake Rudock, Speight’s predecessor, became only the second Michigan quar-terback to pass for 3,000 yards in a season and set a school record with five consecutive games of at least 250 yards passing.
Rosen is coming off a season cut short by a shoulder injury that required surgery, but he is still widely expected to turn pro after next season, giving him one more chance to lead UCLA back to prominence.
Fisch ran a multidimensional offense in Miami that was hailed for its efficiency, averaging 31.4 points and 440.2 yards per game in 2012. UCLA switched to a pro-style offense last season before abandoning it in midseason upon Rosen’s injury because backup quarterback Mike Fafaul was more suited to the spread.
Fisch has a lengthy coaching resume that includes college stops with Florida and Minnesota and the NFL’s Houston Texans, Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks. He’s worked under several notable coaches, including Steve Spurrier, Mike Shanahan, Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh.