Sources – Bill O’Brien has joined Ryan Day’s staff at Ohio State as OC
Ohio State is set to hire longtime NFL coach Bill O’Brien as the school’s new offensive coordinator, sources told ESPN.
The move comes with a potential shift within OSU’s program, as coach Ryan Day has spent part of this season exploring bringing in an experienced coordinator that would allow him to relinquish play-calling duties, according to sources.
O’Brien served as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator in 2023 and has extensive experience as an offensive coordinator, play-caller and quarterback developer at the college and NFL levels.
At Ohio State’s O’Brien, you’ll get an offensive coach who has worked with Bryce Young (Alabama), Tom Brady and Deshaun Watson during some of their best seasons. Young won the Heisman Trophy in 2021 under O’Brien, and Alabama finished in the top 10 in scoring in both O’Brien’s seasons as coordinator, averaging 39.9 and 41.1 points per game. Ohio State’s offense this season is down to 30.5 points per game, down from 44.2 the year before.
In O’Brien’s seven years (2014-2020) as an NFL head coach, he reached the playoffs four times and led the Texans to a winning record five times. He was fired after an 0-4 start in 2020 and finished his tenure there 52-48.
O’Brien also has experience in the Big Ten as a head coach. He took over for Joe Paterno at Penn State in 2012 and went 15-9 in two seasons. His time there he was known as a solid recruiter and a steady presence as Penn State navigated through the fallout from the Jerry Sandusky crimes.
Brady won the NFL MVP award with O’Brien as quarterbacks coach in 2010. (New England did not draft an offensive lineman that year, and O’Brien was officially the offensive coordinator the following year.)
On the heels of three straight losses to Michigan and a two-game losing streak to end the 2023 season, Day set out to make significant changes to the program. Ohio State has decided not to bring back two assistant coaches — safeties coach Perry Eliano and special teams coach Parker Fleming.
Since Ohio State’s season ended, the program has received a wave of recruit-eligible players returning for an additional season and some high-profile additions through the transfer portal, suggesting the school’s team appears ready to invest significantly.
On offense, those players include star receiver Emeka Egbuka who returns for a fourth season, TreVeyon Henderson who returns to school for a fourth year, and guard Donovan Jackson who returns for a fourth season. Heading into the season, they were all considered players seriously considering the NFL.
In the NCAA transfer portal, former Kansas State quarterback Will Howard joined the Buckeyes in his final year of eligibility, and two-time first-team All-SEC running back Quinshon Judkins transferred from Ole Miss.
Ohio State also added Alabama center Seth McLaughlin to the portal.
O’Brien is a Brown University graduate who began his career there in 1993. He worked at Georgia Tech, Maryland and Duke before joining the Patriots staff in 2007 as an offensive assistant.