The Bruins have made a behind-the-scenes addition to their staff.
UCLA football hired former Colorado offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini as an offensive analyst on Wednesday, he announced on Twitter. Chiaverini, who was born in Orange County and went to high school in Riverside County, was a special teams assistant for the Bruins back in 2009.
In the 13 years since Chiaverini was last working in Westwood, he has gone from being a co-offensive coordinator, special teams coordinator and associate head coach at Riverside City College to holding down the special teams coordinator and outside wide receivers coach positions at Texas Tech and returning to his alma mater, Colorado, in multiple roles.
Chiaverini was a receiver for the Buffaloes from 1995 to 1998, first breaking onto the scene in the 1996 Holiday Bowl when he racked up 97 yards and a touchdown on seven catches. Chiaverini became a regular starter as a junior in 1997, then put up 630 yards, 52 catches and five touchdowns his senior year in 1998.
The four years Chiaverini spent as a student-athlete in Boulder lined up with Rick Neuheisel’s four years as the Buffaloes’ head coach, a decade before he became UCLA’s head coach in 2008.
Chiaverini was scooped up by the Cleveland Browns in the fifth round of the 1999 NFL Draft. After recording 487 yards and four touchdowns on 44 receptions as a rookie, Chiaverini’s numbers started to fall off and injuries hampered his career, and he eventually wound up playing for the Austin Wranglers of the Arena Football League after failed stints with the Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons.
When his playing career was over, Chiaverini took a job as the wide receivers coach for Mt. San Antonio College before making his way to UCLA. Chiaverini was on Neuheisel’s staff in Westwood in 2009 and Kliff Kingsbury’s staff in Lubbock not long after, and learning from those two helped him get a job back at Colorado.
From 2016 to 2018, Chiaverini was the Buffaloes’ co-offensive coordinator, wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator under Mike MacIntyre. Mel Tucker retained Chiaverini in 2019, but replaced his co-offensive coordinator title with an assistant head coach designation.
Chiaverini was named interim coach when Tucker left for Michigan State, and when another former UCLA coach in Karl Dorrell arrived in 2020, he too kept Chiaverini around to be the lone offensive coordinator and receivers coach.
Things went well for the Buffaloes’ offense that season, as running back Jarek Broussard earned offensive player of the year and safety-turned-quarterback Sam Noyer was named to the All-Pac-12 Second Team, but they took a major step back in 2021.
Colorado averaged 18.8 points per game in Chiaverini’s second season calling the shots, which ranked No. 121 in the nation and stood out as the program’s worst campaign since 1964. Broussard went from averaging 160 yards from scrimmage per game in 2020 to 67.5 in 2021, and redshirt freshman quarterback Brendon Lewis was at the bottom of every Pac-12 passing leaderboard.
Chiaverini was fired on Nov. 28 in one of many moves that Colorado made to revamp its offensive staff.
UCLA had two previously-fired Pac-12 coordinators on staff as analysts last season – former USC offensive coordinator Tim Drevno and former USC defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast. Drevno was promoted to offensive line coach with Justin Frye leaving in January, while Pendergast’s status remains up in the air.
With Drevno’s analyst spot opened up, Chiaverini will step right up to hold that position on the staff. Coach Chip Kelly will be the primary offensive playcaller for the fifth year in a row this fall, but the Bruins do not have an offensive coordinator after Frye held that title for the past three seasons.
Between Drevno and Chiaverini, though, there are several Power Five offensive coordinators already in the room, it just remains to be seen if Kelly will elect to hire a coordinator or return to the organization he had in 2018.
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