Chip Kelly, the former head football coach of UCLA, has recently made a significant career move by stepping down from his position to embrace a new role as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Ohio State. Both UCLA and Ohio State officially announced this development on a Friday.
Kelly, who took the helm at UCLA in 2018 after a notable stint as an NFL head coach, concludes his tenure with the Bruins with an overall record of 35-34 and a 26-26 mark in Pac-12 play. The decision to leave UCLA was conveyed to athletic director Martin Jarmond by Kelly himself. In response to the departure, Jarmond expressed his gratitude, stating, “I want to sincerely thank Chip for his service to UCLA football and our student-athletes across the past six seasons.”
Kelly faced initial challenges at UCLA, with a combined 10-21 record in his first three years. However, the team achieved a breakthrough in 2021, securing eight wins and a bowl bid. Unfortunately, they were unable to play in the Holiday Bowl due to COVID-19 issues within the team. The following season, UCLA won nine games, participated in the Sun Bowl, and concluded the year ranked No. 21 in the US LBM AFCA Coaches Poll.
Despite these successes, UCLA failed to reach the heights of Kelly’s previous coaching stint at Oregon, where he had a remarkable four-year run, posting a 46-7 record, winning three conference championships, and playing for the 2010 national championship. Kelly’s innovative offensive strategies at Oregon, characterized by spread concepts, left an enduring impact on the landscape of college football.
However, during his time at UCLA, the team grappled with offensive struggles, offsetting the prowess of a defense that ranked among the best in the Power Five and Bowl Subdivision. The Bruins faced challenges such as scoring just seven points in a loss to Utah and a combined 17 points in losses to Arizona State and Arizona. Quarterback instability due to injuries and poor performance further compounded the team’s offensive woes. Despite the setbacks, UCLA managed to finish the regular season with a 7-5 record and secured a victory against Boise State in the LA Bowl, marking Kelly’s final game with the Bruins.
Kelly’s departure from UCLA is a significant moment in his coaching career, especially considering his notable success at Oregon and his experiences in the NFL. In the NFL, he spent three seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, earning playoff appearances in his first two years. However, his tenure with the Eagles ended in 2015 with a 6-9 record. He then joined the San Francisco 49ers for one season, finishing with a 2-14 record.
As Kelly takes on the role of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Ohio State, the college football community will be eager to witness the impact of his renowned offensive strategies on a new stage. Ohio State, a powerhouse in college football, presents an exciting opportunity for Kelly to make a lasting impression and continue shaping the landscape of offensive football in the collegiate ranks.
In conclusion, Chip Kelly’s departure from UCLA marks the end of a significant chapter in his coaching journey. As he embarks on a new role at Ohio State, the echoes of his successes at Oregon and his experiences in the NFL will undoubtedly contribute to the anticipation surrounding his impact on one of college football’s premier programs. The dynamic and innovative coaching style that defined Kelly’s earlier career will be closely watched as he seeks to leave an indelible mark on Ohio State’s offensive prowess.