clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Report: Chip Kelly off to Ohio State, out of the running for Seahawks offensive coordinator

The crazy college football offseason has impacted Seattle’s search for a new offensive coordinator.

UCLA vs Cal in Pasadena, CA

It’s not often you see a head coach take a theoretically lesser job at another school, but this appears to be what Chip Kelly is doing.

Kelly, one of the candidates for the still vacant Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator position, is expected to become Ohio State’s offensive coordinator. Yes, he’s leaving a college head coaching job to be a college OC. He has close relations with Ohio State head coach Ryan Day.

This comes after Ohio State offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, who accepted the position just a few weeks ago, left the program to become the head coach at Boston College, who had a vacant spot when Jeff Hafley was hired as the Green Bay Packers’ defensive coordinator. This domino effect has led to Kelly moving from the Bruins to the Buckeyes.

It’s clear at this point that the Kelly-UCLA relationship had soured, so Kelly stepping down from his job has felt inevitable. UCLA is just 35-34 with Kelly as coach and now that they’re in the Big Ten, they are at a massive competitive deficit in terms of finances and recruiting. Here’s a snippet from 247Sports:

So, how did things get so bad? Why did Kelly, one of the foremost coaching innovators of this century, want to leave and give up being a head coach?

The obvious answer probably has a lot to do with it. A section of UCLA’s administrators and boosters tried to fire him a few months ago. Why stick around for the axe to fall in 2024? Kelly knew his buyout drops from $8.5 million to $4.27 million next December. The Bruins athletic department might be bleeding money — more on that in a minute — but that $4.27 million number after a Big Ten cash infusion will be far more palatable for the UCLA administration.


UCLA’s recruiting results have lagged under Kelly. The Bruins, likely in part because of the Kelly hot seat talk, finished 18th of 18th schools in the new-look Big Ten recruiting rankings for the 2024 cycle. That result is a bit of an outlier, but UCLA has never ranked better than fifth in the Pac-12 recruiting rankings since Kelly arrived on campus.

Meanwhile, the wait for a Seahawks offensive coordinator continues. They’ve hired Aden Durde as defensive coordinator, Jay Harbaugh as special teams coordinator, but that last missing piece of the main coaching staff puzzle remains unsolved.