A short but interesting search for the next defensive coordinator ended on Thursday, as the Los Angeles Rams will promote linebackers coach Chris Shula as the replacement for Raheem Morris. Shula had drawn interest from the Miami Dolphins to be the defensive coordinator replacement for Vic Fangio, but now it looks like Sean McVay is promoting from within, according to Ian Rapoport.
Shula, the grandson of Hall of Fame coach Don Shula, has been with the Rams since McVay’s first season in 2017. He was an assistant linebackers coach then, promoted to outside linebackers in 2019, then just ‘linebackers’ coach in 2021. Shula became the defensive backs coach and defensive pass game coordinator in 2022 and then the pass rush coordinator and linebackers coach in 2023.
So he has two seasons in some type of coordinator role with play calling and game planning but will be Morris’s replacement as defensive coordinator in 2024. With how many coaches under McVay have been promoted to head coach in the NFL, it may not be long before Shula is leaving too.
The #Rams are planning to promote pass rush coordinator and LBs coach Chris Shula to be their defensive coordinator, sources say. The grandson of Don Shula lands in a key role. pic.twitter.com/aNVCDYWHtW— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 1, 2024
Shula started his career at Ball State in 2010, then spent three years at Indiana, one at John Carroll, and two with the San Diego Chargers prior to being hired by McVay.
He played at the University of Miami (Ohio) and was teammates with McVay.
Shula, 37, comes from a football family, same as McVay. His uncle Mike Shula was also the head coach at Alabama from 2003-2006, prior to being replaced by Nick Saban. Now Chris Shula looks to continue the tradition of familiar last names quickly rising through the ranks in the NFL.