When Ikaika Malloe wasn’t retained by the new staff that landed at Washington this offseason, UCLA jumped at the opportunity to add him to Chip Kelly’s coaching staff.

Malloe joined the program with 20 years of coaching experience under his belt, including three as a defensive coordinator and six as a special teams coordinator. UCLA has seen marked improvement in its defense to begin the season and that has certainly played a role in the 6-0 start. Asked Wednesday what the first-year outside linebackers coach has brought to the team, Kelly had the perfect response.

“Latu,” he said. “The Murphy twins.”

Laiatu Latu ranks fourth in the Pac-12 with seven tackles for loss this season, his first for UCLA. A former Washington defender, Latu transferred to UCLA this offseason after a neck injury forced him to medically retire with the Huskies.

The Murphy twins, Grayson and Gabriel, have been two of the most impactful transfers in all of college football. They’ve been excellent in both the run game and as pass-rushers. And they both arrived this offseason by way of North Texas.

“Ikaika was critical in recruiting all three of those guys, so he’s a great recruiter, but he also is a really, really good teacher,” said Kelly. “I think he’s added a lot from that standpoint, but a lot of it is still personnel driven and I think we’ve got some personnel out there that has really done an outstanding job. Ikaika’s a really good teacher when it comes to pass-rush skills and movements. But it’s always easier to be a better coach when you have better players to work with.”

The Bruins are off to their best start since 2005 and will look to keep it going next Saturday when they travel to Eugene to battle No. 12 Oregon. Kickoff on Oct. 22 is set for 12:30 p.m. PT.