UCLA football coach Chip Kelly is expected to hire Ken Norton Jr. as the program’s next linebackers coach, according to The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman.
Norton will reportedly replace Don Pellum, who spent most of the past three decades as a coach within the Pac-10/Pac-12 Conference. Pellum, who will retire at the end of the month when his contract is up, joined Kelly’s staff in Westwood in 2017.
Norton’s hiring serves as a homecoming for one of the Bruins’ most notable alumni. He played linebacker for the Bruins from 1984-87 and was an All-American in 1987 and a finalist for the Butkus Award. He was a member of the UCLA Hall of Fame’s Class of 1998.
The son of the former world heavyweight boxing champion was drafted in the second round by the Dallas Cowboys in 1988. He also played for the San Francisco 49ers and won three Super Bowls during a 13-year NFL career.
He began his coaching career with rival USC from 2004-09 as a member of Pete Carroll’s staff.
He followed Carroll to Seattle in 2010 and was hired as the Seahawks’ linebackers coach. After four seasons, Norton was hired as the then-Oakland Raiders’ defensive coordinator but reunited with Carroll in 2018. Carroll fired Norton as the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator after the 2021 NFL season.