Ohio State poaches new Big Ten rival for shocking Bill O'Brien replacement

UCLA Bruins head coach Chip Kelly
UCLA Bruins head coach Chip Kelly / Zachary BonDurant-USA TODAY Sports

The college football coaching carousel truly never stops.

On Friday, freshly hired Ohio State offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien left the Buckeyes hanging when he took the open head coaching spot at Boston College. That job was only open because Jeff Hafley gave up his head coaching gig to take a defensive coordinator position with the Green Bay Packers. So it's somewhat fitting that another head coach is giving up the top job for a prestigious demotion.

Just before 11:00 a.m. PT, UCLA head coach Chip Kelly informed his team that he's leaving the Bruins, according to Matt Zenitz of 247Sports.

Right on the heels of that bombshell, Pete Thamel of ESPN reported that Kelly is in the sights of Ohio State with a deal to become their new offensive coordinator imminent.

And so the coaching carousel turns, endlessly. And there's always some poor program getting thrown under it, ground to dust by the spinning wheels.

This year, that program is UCLA.

UCLA's demolition is complete with Chip Kelly's departure

The Bruins ended the 2023 season on a high. They embarrassed rival USC and won eight games despite a tumultuous quarterback room. Then everything started to crumble.

Hotshot defensive coordinator D'Anton Lynn turned traitor and took the open DC position with the Trojans. He took a handful of standout transfers across town with him. Then Kelly lost five-star quarterback Dante Moore to Oregon, where he was happy to take a backup role behind Dillon Gabriel rather than stay in LA.

With the Bruins signing a historically weak recruiting class, Kelly looked ready to jump ship by interviewing for just about every possible offensive coordinator job available in the NFL.

Now he's found a new home in Columbus with Ryan Day, who he coached and then worked with at New Hampshire.

The Buckeyes are getting a proven offensive mind who has engineered effective offenses at the NFL and college levels. Kelly knows how to move the ball and put up points. His biggest downfall recently has been his recruiting, which is a factor Ohio State will have to mitigate. But it's certainly doable with strong enough recruiters across the staff, which the Buckeyes have.

Day is all in on winning a national title and Kelly is the kind of hire that could get him there.

Unfortunately, UCLA and Ohio State don't play until 2025.

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