UCLA’s debut in the Big Ten Conference next season also will come with a new head coach after Chip Kelly informed Bruins players Friday that he is leaving the program and the university later announced his departure.
Reports also indicate that Kelly is leaving UCLA after six seasons to become the offensive coordinator at Ohio State under head coach Ryan Day, a longtime friend. Kelly was the offensive coordinator at New Hampshire when Day was the quarterback there from 1998-2001.
“I want to sincerely thank Chip for his service to UCLA Football and our student-athletes across the past six seasons and wish the best to him and his wife Jill moving forward,” UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond said in a news release Friday.
Unlike Kelly’s time as the head coach at Oregon, when he went 46-7 from 2009-12, Kelly’s tenure at UCLA was far less impressive. Kelly’s Bruins teams went 35-34 and the team played in just two bowl games, winning the LA Bowl in December, 35-22 over Boise State.
While Kelly was on the hot seat over his mediocre results, the UCLA athletic department gave the coach a vote of confidence just after Thanksgiving, complimenting Kelly’s strong culture.
Kelly also has NFL experience, leaving Oregon to become the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles from 2013-15 and the San Francisco 49ers in 2016. Day was Kelly’s quarterbacks coach at San Francisco.
UCLA is not scheduled to face Ohio State in its inaugural run next season in the Big Ten, but the teams are set to face each other in 2025 at Columbus, Ohio.
UCLA is moving to the Big Ten along with rival Southern California. Pac-12 powers Washington and Oregon also are leaving for the Big Ten.