Chip Kelly departs UCLA to take Ohio State OC job

League: NCAA Football

Posted on: 10 Feb, 2024 at 02:50 AM

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA's debut in the Big Ten Conference next season will come with a new head coach, as Chip Kelly departed the program to accept the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach position at Ohio State on Friday.

Kelly, 60, left UCLA after six seasons to become the Buckeyes' offensive coordinator under head coach Ryan Day, a longtime friend. Kelly was as assistant coach at New Hampshire when Day was the quarterback there from 1998-2001.

Kelly informed Bruins players on Friday that he was leaving the program.

"I want to sincerely thank Chip for his service to UCLA Football and our student-athletes across the past six seasons and wish the best to him and his wife Jill moving forward," UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond said in a news release.

Ohio State confirmed Friday night that it was bringing in Kelly. The Buckeyes had recently hired Bill O'Brien to the offensive coordinator role and planned for him to call plays, but O'Brien left to take Boston College's head-coaching job on Friday.

Brian Hartline was Ohio State's offensive coordinator last season, as well as the wide receivers coach, a position he held since 2018. It is unclear if he will remain on the staff.

Unlike Kelly's time as the head coach at Oregon -- when he went 46-7 from 2009-12 with three Pac-12 championships -- Kelly's tenure at UCLA was far less impressive. Kelly's Bruins teams went 35-34 and the team played in just two bowl games, winning the LA Bowl in December, 35-22 over Boise State.

While Kelly was on the hot seat over his mediocre results, the UCLA athletic department gave the coach a vote of confidence just after Thanksgiving, complimenting Kelly's strong culture.

Kelly also has NFL experience, leaving Oregon to become the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles from 2013-15 and the San Francisco 49ers in 2016. He went 28-35 as an NFL head coach. Day was Kelly's quarterbacks coach at San Francisco.

UCLA is not scheduled to face Ohio State in its inaugural run next season in the Big Ten, but the teams are set to play each other in 2025 at Columbus, Ohio.

UCLA is moving to the Big Ten along with rival Southern California. Pac-12 powers Washington and Oregon also are leaving for the Big Ten.

--Field Level Media