How Ohio State 'stumbled' into better positions leading to Chip Kelly

On3 imageby:Nick Kosko02/12/24

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Spencer Holbrook On How Ohio State Keeps 'Stumbling' Into Better Positions Leading To Chip Kelly Hire | 02.11.24

Ohio State lucked or “stumbled” into Chip Kelly as the team’s new offensive coordinator. At least, that’s what On3’s Andy Staples and Lettermen Row’s Spencer Holbrook said.

Kelly ended up leaving UCLA as the team’s head coach to stay in-conference and become an assistant. A little unconventional to say the least.

But with the situation deteriorating out west, Kelly reunited with Ryan Day, and it happened to be a little lucky.

“You (wanted) a quarterback and you wait and wait it out till after the bowl game and you end up with Will Howard,” Holbrook said on Andy Staples On3. “You get an offensive coordinator who has the endorsement of both Nick Saban and Bill Belichick, which is almost impossible to find. And you luck into Bill O’Brien, then all of a sudden he takes the job. And Chip Kelly is available because right away, multiple reports said ‘Hey, he is informing UCLA that he’s leaving.’ 

“I wonder where it could be going well, he’s probably going to go work for the guy that he mentored for a lot of years. So it’s just this offseason keeps getting better for Ohio State and you know, it hasn’t even been one step forward or one step backward. It’s just been multiple steps forward at every turn. And I can’t really think of a better way for this offseason to go so far.”

This is certainly a unique situation regarding Kelly and Ohio State. Something like this might not have happened even just a few years ago.

“Ryan Day found something that may be incredibly unique in Bill O’Brien with the NFL head coaching, college coaching, college play calling, NFL Play calling, all that experience,” Holbrook said. “There’s only one person that fit the bill even better, and it’s the guy who mentored (Day).

“And it just so convenient that Chip Kelly wanted out of UCLA so badly that he was willing to do this and take this move. And Ryan Day is not going to turn that down at all, you know, the run scheme that should Kelly has, that’s exactly what Ryan Day wants … the passing concepts with Brian Hartline married with those run concepts, Ryan Day couldn’t draw that up better.”

Yes, Kelly was Day’s boss at one point. But at some point, the student becomes the master.

“And now you’ve got an offense, you know, still headed up by Ryan Day, but has the guy that taught him offense on it,” Holbrook said. “And so you’re looking at a lot of factors coming together to make sure Kelly, maybe even a more perfect hire than Bill O’Brien. And that’s saying a lot considering the pedigree that O’Brien brought.”