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Tennessee Titans hire UCLA defensive coordinator Lou Spanos

Evan Vucci / Associated Press
Lou Spanos, a former assistant coach for the Redskins, is leaving UCLA to be the Titans' LB coach.

UCLA held on to head coach Jim Mora and quarterback Brett Hundley, but the loss of defensive coordinator Lou Spanos to the Tennessee Titans could prove to be a major blow in the Bruins' push for a Pac-12 title next season.

Spanos will serve as the Titans' linebackers coach under new head coach Ken Whisenhunt, an addition announced by the team Saturday. Spanos has 17 years of experience coaching in the NFL, including 15 years with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"I know Lou from our time together in Pittsburgh," Whisenhunt said. "He has put together a great body of work during his career. As defensive coordinator at UCLA, he again showed he is a good teacher and leader and we are lucky to have him working with our linebackers."

Spanos was critical to the development of UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr, who was a hybrid running back/tight end before Mora and Spanos arrived in Westwood, Calif. in 2012. In just two years on defense, Barr twice earned All-America honors after totaling 23.5 sacks and 41.5 tackles for loss.

Barr comes in at No. 4 overall on NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah's list of top 50 draft prospects and is projected as a top six selection in the initial mock drafts from Jeremiah, Bucky Brooks and Charles Davis.

With the Titans picking at No. 11, a reunion between Spanos and Barr seems unlikely, barring a trade into the top 10.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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