The Unveiling of Chip Kelly as Ohio State’s New Offensive Coordinator

In a surprising turn of events, the Ohio State Buckeyes announced on Friday night that Chip Kelly, the former UCLA coach, will be taking on the role of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the team. This unexpected transition comes after the departure of Bill O’Brien, who was recently named the head coach at Boston College. The decision to bring in Kelly reflects Ohio State’s commitment to revamp their offensive strategy and seek fresh perspectives. With this new addition to their coaching staff, the Buckeyes hope to enhance their overall performance and make a run for the championship.

Under the leadership of head coach Ryan Day, Ohio State sought to redefine their coaching roles by relieving Day of play-calling duties and allowing him to focus on a holistic approach to running the program. As part of this restructuring process, Bill O’Brien was initially brought in as offensive coordinator. However, his appointment was short-lived, as he was soon offered the head coaching position at Boston College. This unexpected turn of events prompted Ohio State to swiftly find a replacement, which ultimately led them to Chip Kelly.

Chip Kelly and the Buckeyes have agreed to a three-year deal, although specific financial details have not been disclosed to the public. However, it is anticipated that Kelly will take a significant pay cut, possibly exceeding $4 million, compared to his previous salary at UCLA. In addition, Ohio State will need to pay a $1.5 million buyout for Kelly’s contract, further emphasizing the university’s commitment to securing his services. The financial sacrifices made on both sides indicate the mutual confidence and vested interest in forming a successful partnership.

Expressing his excitement about the new addition to the coaching staff, head coach Ryan Day shared his high hopes for Chip Kelly’s impact on the team. Day emphasized Kelly’s extensive experience as a head coach at Oregon, UCLA, and in the NFL, highlighting the immediate value that Kelly’s expertise will bring to the entire Ohio State team. Additionally, Day expressed his eagerness to reconnect with Kelly, introduce him to the existing staff and players, and work together to pursue a championship. The seamless integration of Kelly’s play-calling strategies and offensive prowess with Day’s overall leadership philosophy is expected to create a potent and innovative force on the field.

Chip Kelly’s departure from UCLA was motivated by his desire to coach once again. His recent experience of coaching UCLA’s quarterbacks during their bowl game rekindled his passion, particularly as it was the first time in over a decade that he directly coached a specific position. Despite leaving UCLA, Kelly holds no animosity towards the university. On the contrary, he expressed deep appreciation for his players and staff during his tenure, culminating in three consecutive winning seasons. Kelly’s decision to transition to the role of offensive coordinator at Ohio State further emphasizes his commitment to coaching and his willingness to adapt to new challenges.

The trend of college head coaches transitioning to assistant coaching positions continues with Chip Kelly’s move to Ohio State. He joins a growing list of coaches, including Jeff Hafley, Mo Linguist, and Kane Wommack, who have left their head coaching positions to take up assistant roles. While this may raise eyebrows in some circles, it highlights the allure of new opportunities and the potential for growth and development that these coaches find in assistant positions. The willingness of established coaches to step back and assume supportive roles demonstrates their dedication to the sport and their desire to contribute to a larger vision of success.

With Chip Kelly’s departure, UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond confirmed that a national search for a new head coach has commenced. Though the timing presents a challenge, Jarmond assured the team that a new leader for the program would be in place within four days, despite the possibility of an earlier or later appointment. The priority for UCLA’s athletic department is to find a permanent leader who can guide the program towards sustained success, reinvigorating the team and building upon the foundation already established.

Despite interviewing for various NFL coordinator positions, including the recent opportunity with the Seattle Seahawks, Chip Kelly has opted to return to the college football scene. This decision reunites him with long-time friend and former assistant coach Ryan Day. The close bond that Kelly and Day share dates back to their New Hampshire roots, where Kelly coached Day during his college years. Their professional paths crossed in the NFL, with Day working as Kelly’s assistant coach with both the Philadelphia Eagles and the San Francisco 49ers. This familiarity, combined with their shared football philosophies, bodes well for their collaborative efforts at Ohio State.

Chip Kelly has long been hailed as a gifted playcaller and offensive innovator. Throughout his career, his strategic acumen has been evident, from his time as an offensive coordinator at New Hampshire and Oregon to his tenure as a head coach both in college and the NFL. Over the years, Kelly’s offensive schemes have evolved, transitioning from a fast-paced tempo characteristic of his early days to a more calculated approach suitable for the professional level. At Ohio State, he will have the opportunity to leverage his experience and innovative mindset to lead an already talented roster towards offensive dominance.

Ohio State’s spring practice is set to begin on March 5, marking the commencement of a new era with Chip Kelly as the offensive coordinator. As the team explores new strategies, refines its plays, and builds chemistry under the guidance of Kelly and Day, the Buckeyes’ fanbase eagerly anticipates the potential unleashed by this dynamic coaching duo. The stage is set for a season of excitement, growth, and renewed competitive spirit, as the Ohio State Buckeyes strive to reclaim their spot amongst college football’s elite.


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