UCLA’s Chip Kelly steps down after six seasons as head coach as Bruins prepare for move to Big Ten

FILE - UCLA coach Chip Kelly walks off the field following the team's NCAA college football game against Oregon State Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, in Corvallis, Ore. Chip Kelly has informed UCLA officials that he is stepping down as coach of the Bruins, a person with direct knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024. (AP Photo/Amanda Loman, File)

UCLA coach Chip Kelly stepped down Friday after six seasons leading the Bruins, leaving the soon-to-be Big Ten school scrambling to fill a vacancy at the top of the program with spring practice about a month away from cranking up around the country.

Multiple media outlets reported Kelly was heading to Ohio State, UCLA’s future conference rival, to become offensive coordinator. Ohio State declined comment.


Buckeyes coach Ryan Day hired former Texans coach Bill O’Brien as offensive coordinator last month, but O’Brien is now heading to Boston College to become the Eagles’ head coach. Day played quarterback in college for Kelly when he was offensive coordinator at New Hampshire.

“Timing is a challenge,” UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond said, adding he told the team the plan was to have a new coach in place within four days.

Jarmond said he was not caught off when Kelly called him earlier Friday to inform him he was leaving.

Kelly had interviewed for multiple NFL offensive coordinator jobs over the last two weeks.

Kelly was under contract until 2027. Jarmond said UCLA will enforce a $1.5 million buyout.

Jarmond said he met with the team to inform them of the change. He said he was not sure if Kelly met with or personally informed the players.

“This is something as an athletic director and program, you have to be ready for in case you’re in a middle of a search,” Jarmond said.

“We were ready and we’re prepared.”

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