UCLA coach Chip Kelly has been hired to replace Bill O'Brien as Ohio State's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
The school announced Kelly's hiring on Friday to a three-year contract.
Kelly will take over for O'Brien after he was officially named Boston College's new coach hours ago in his latest run on the coaching circuit. The Eagles' opening came last week when Jeff Hafley was hired as defensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers.
“We are very excited to have Chip and his wife Jill join our program,” Buckeyes coach Ryan Day said in a statement. “His experience as a head coach at Oregon, UCLA and in the NFL will bring immediate value to our entire team. I'm really looking forward to reconnecting with Chip, introducing him to our staff and team and chasing a championship together.”
“I would also like to wish Coach Bill O'Brien and his family well as he takes over at Boston College.”
in letterAthletic Director Martin Jarmond confirmed Kelly's departure from UCLA after six seasons at the helm of the Bruins. Kelly went 35-34 in his tenure with the Bruins.
It's not uncommon for current coaches to voluntarily leave for coordinator positions, but the ties between Day and Kelly stretch back a quarter-century. Day was a quarterback at New Hampshire from 1998-2001 when Kelly was the Wildcats' offensive coordinator and began his coaching career at the school.
They have also worked together in the NFL. He hired Kelly Day as his quarterbacks coach in his final season as he led the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015 and brought him to the San Francisco 49ers the following year.
The 60-year-old Kelly's extensive experience will likely allow Day to continue with his first-time play-delegation plans and step into a more CEO-style role at the helm of the Buckeyes.
Ohio State Football: Who is Chip Kelly? Ohio State University reportedly intends to hire a former UCLA Oregon State coach as offensive coordinator
Day said in a news conference on Wednesday that he intends to hand those responsibilities over to O'Brien, another veteran player with coaching experience between the NFL and college level.
As he considered preparing and arranging his staff, Day emphasized that the potential caller had to be the right person. Kelly's profile is as prominent as any potential candidate.
Kelly was last offensive coordinator under Mike Bellotti at Oregon State in 2007 and 2008.
It was during that period that Kelly, who succeeded Belotti and led the Ducks for four seasons, introduced a no-huddle offense that operated at such a rapid pace that it became known as “The Blur.”
The innovative system contributed to the spread of no-huddle violations throughout college football.
more: Join the Ohio State Sports Insider transcript with Bill Rabinowitz, Joey Kaufman and Adam Jardi
Oregon had the nation's highest-scoring score in 2010 when it finished second nationally, falling to Auburn on a field goal in the BCS National Championship game.
Kelly's offense at UCLA wasn't as prolific, but the Bruins ranked in the top 20 in scoring in the Football Bowl Subdivision for three straight seasons before falling to 70th last season, struggling with Dorian Thompson Robinson no longer behind center.
While Kelly's relationship with Day is a long-standing one, he also has a connection with offensive line coach Justin Frye.
Frye was his offensive coordinator and offensive line coach with the Bruins from 2018-21.
Adding Kelly to the Buckeyes staff would likely involve an additional financial cost. Under the terms of the extension Kelly signed with UCLA last March, he owes the school $1.5 million for her departure.
The bulk of this buyout amount could be borne by Ohio State, which has previously covered similar obligations.
When it took defensive coordinator Jim Knowles from Oklahoma State two years ago, it gave him a one-time lump sum signing bonus of $138,850 to help kill the penalty kill.
Kelly was scheduled to make $6.1 million at UCLA next season.
The Bruins will join the Big Ten next season, but the Buckeyes are not scheduled to play them during the regular season until 2025.
Joey Kaufman covers Ohio State football for the Columbus Dispatch and can be reached at [email protected].
Get more Ohio State football news by listening to our podcasts
“Alcohol enthusiast. Twitter ninja. Tv lover. Falls down a lot. Hipster-friendly coffee geek.”