Chip Kelly has stepped down as UCLA’s head football coach to become the new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Ohio State.
Both programs announced the respective news on Friday.
Hired in 2018 after four seasons as an NFL head coach, Kelly ends his UCLA tenure with a 35-34 record overall and 26-26 mark in Pac-12 play.
At Ohio State, Kelly will replace Bill O’Brien, who is becoming Boston College’s head coach.
“Earlier this morning, coach Chip Kelly informed me of his decision to depart UCLA,” athletic director Martin Jarmond said in a statement. “I want to sincerely thank Chip for his service to UCLA football and our student-athletes across the past six seasons.”
The Bruins started slow under Kelly, posting a combined 10-21 record through his first three years, before breaking through with eight wins and a bowl bid in 2021. The Bruins did not play in the Holiday Bowl against North Carolina State that season due to COVID-19 positives in the team. UCLA won nine games in 2022, including an appearance in the Sun Bowl, and finished No. 21 in the US LBM AFCA Coaches Poll.
But even with the recent success, the program never reached or even approached the heights of Kelly’s previous stint at Oregon and stumbled this past season.
The Bruins have had major struggles on offense, offsetting the performance of a defense that ranked among the best in the Power Five and Bowl Subdivision. UCLA scored just seven points in a loss to Utah and scored a combined 17 points in losses to Arizona State and Arizona. The Bruins started three different quarterbacks due to injury and poor performance. Ethan Garbers led the team’s Week 12 win against rival USC. But Garbers was hurt early in UCLA’s disappointing regular season-ender vs. Cal and the team managed just seven points again as it finished 7-5. The Bruins defeated Boise State in the LA Bowl in what turned out to be Kelly’s final game.
This lack of offensive punch stands in contrast to Kelly’s unforgettable four-year run at Oregon, where he posted a 46-7 record, won three conference championships and played for the 2010 national championship, losing a close game to Auburn. During this time with the Ducks, Kelly revolutionized the way college teams approach offensive football, ushering an era of spread concepts that have gripped the sport across all levels of competition.
He also spent four seasons in the NFL, three with the Philadelphia Eagles and the last with the San Francisco 49ers. Kelly’s teams with the Eagles won 10 games in each of his first two years, making one playoff appearance, but were 6-9 when he was fired with one game left in the 2015 season. He was quickly hired by the 49ers and went 2-14 in his one year.
First appeared on www.usatoday.com