Ron McBride, Utah's new head football coach, says the sudden loss of defensive coordinator Tim Hundley will not hurt the progress of the Utes, who will begin spring practice later this month.

Some two months after accepting a job as defensive coordinator and linebacker coach at Utah, Hundley left the school this week to accept a position as a linebacker coach at UCLA."UCLA has been talking with him for a while," said McBride. "I knew Terry (Donahue, the UCLA head coach) had an interest in him. It doesn't change a thing. It's not a step back. When I hired my coaching staff, I hired two defensive coordinators."

The other one is Greg McMackin, who, although his official title was secondary coach, shared the defensive coordinator duties with Hundley. He will take over as Utah's defensive coordinator, as well as continue coaching the secondary.

"Our defense consists of Hundley's front and McMackin's secondary and linebackers," says McBride. "They worked on it together."

McMackin, who according to Utah officials refused the offer of an offensive coordinator's job at SMU, has served as a secondary coach at San Jose State, Stanford and the now defunct USFL Jacksonville Bulls and Denver Gold. He also was a defensive coordinator at Idaho and a head coach at Oregon Tech before coming to Utah.

"He is a very good coach," says McBride.

As for Hundley, McBride says, "(UCLA) is someplace he always wanted to be. If he wants to go, he should go. There are no hard feelings. He was up front with me about it all along."

McBride said he is considering three candidates to replace Hundley as linebacker coach.

The Utes begin spring practice March 27.