Bill McGovern, a college and pro football veteran who joined the UCLA Bruins last year as defensive coordinator, died Tuesday at age 60 following a battle with cancer.
“Early this morning we said goodbye to our beloved father and husband Bill after his long and difficult battle with cancer came to an end and today, we would like to thank the entire UCLA community for all of the love and support you gave to Bill and our entire family during this very difficult struggle,” McGovern’s family said in a statement released by the university.
“In particular, the McGovern family would like to thank UCLA head football coach Chip Kelly and his wife Jill as well as all of the players, coaches, trainers, and support staff of the UCLA football program and their families.
“It was the honor of Bill’s coaching career to be the defensive coordinator for the UCLA Bruins and this past season was one of the highlights of Bill’s coaching career. We are so thankful for the opportunity to be a part of such a historic athletic tradition and, more importantly, we could not have made it through this past year without the love and prayers of our UCLA family. The McGovern family is so grateful and thankful to all of you for your help during this difficult time and we will be indebted to you all forever. Thank you so much and we will cherish the wonderful memories we have of UCLA and our UCLA football family for the rest of our lives.”
McGovern was recently named UCLA’s director of football administration. He joined the Bruins as defensive coordinator in February 2022, but he missed five games last season due to illness.
Prior to joining UCLA, McGovern spent time coaching defenses with the NFL’s Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants. From 2000-2012, he was the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Boston College, helping that team rise as high as number two in the national rankings in 2007.
He also spent time coaching at the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Massachusetts, University of Pennsylvania and at his alma mater, Holy Cross.
McGovern is survived by his wife Colleen and daughters Amanda, Delainey and Mackenzie.