D’Anton Lynn becomes UCLA’s first million-dollar man at DC

For the first time, a UCLA defensive coordinator has cracked seven figures in salary.

D’Anton Lynn’s $1.02-million annual salary represents a record for a Bruins assistant holding his position, eclipsing the figures made by late predecessor Bill McGovern ($900,000) and previous defensive coordinator Jerry Azzinaro ($700,000).

Lynn’s two-year contract, which was reviewed by The Times alongside those of other UCLA football assistant coaches, also contains a bonus structure that reflects the Bruins’ desire to improve on their biggest weakness under coach Chip Kelly after finishing No. 86 in total defense last season, No. 70 in 2021, No. 69 in 2020, No. 113 in 2019 and No. 102 in 2018.

If the Bruins finish in the top 50 in total defense during Lynn’s first season with the team, Lynn will pocket a $25,000 bonus. Should they finish in the top 25, Lynn would make an additional $25,000 bonus.

Lynn’s contract is similar to that of other UCLA assistants in that it includes bonuses of $15,000 if the Bruins play in the Pac-12 championship game, $20,000 for a New Year’s Six bowl game, $10,000 for an appearance in the College Football Playoff semifinal and $20,000 for an appearance in the CFP championship.

Cornerbacks coach Kodi Whitfield, UCLA’s other new assistant, signed a two-year contract that will pay him $310,000 per year. Ken Niumatalolo, the former Navy coach who joined the Bruins’ staff in March as director of leadership, will make $175,000 per year.

Inside linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr., who is about to enter his second season as an assistant coach at his alma mater, received a hiring bonus of $75,000 on March 3 in addition to a retention bonus of $112,500 on that same date. Norton stands to make another retention bonus of $112,500 if he remains on the staff as of Dec. 11, boosting his total compensation for this year to $620,000. Norton made $250,000 in his first year at UCLA.

Defensive line and outside linebackers coach Ikaika Malloe received a $105,000 retention bonus on Feb. 1 and stands to make another retention bonus of $105,000 if he remains on the staff as of Dec. 11, raising his total compensation for this year to $485,000. Malloe made $285,000 in his first year on the staff.

The contracts of director of football performance Keith Belton ($360,000 in annual salary), safeties coach Brian Norwood ($535,000), offensive line coach Tim Drevno ($560,000), tight ends coach Jeff Faris ($310,000), running backs coach DeShaun Foster ($385,000), quarterbacks coach Ryan Gunderson ($410,000) and wide receivers coach Jerry Neuheisel ($310,000) remained unchanged.

Kelly signed a two-year extension in March that will pay him $6.1 million per season in 2023 and 2024 before rising to $6.2 million per season in 2025, 2026 and 2027. Kelly’s buyout calls for him to receive $8.5 million if he’s fired before December 2023 and $4.27 million if he is dismissed before December 2024. That amount drops to zero in December 2025.