Bill O’Brien Leaves Ohio State to Become Boston College’s Head Coach

By Dan Hope on February 9, 2024 at 10:48 am
Bill O’Brien
Scott Wachter – USA TODAY Sports

Bill O’Brien’s tenure as Ohio State’s offensive coordinator is over.

Boston College has hired O’Brien as its new head coach three weeks after the Buckeyes hired him to be its next offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

"I am thrilled to welcome Bill O'Brien, his wife Colleen, and his sons Jack and Michael to Boston College," Eagles athletic director Blake James said in a statement. "When we embarked on this search, we prioritized finding a coach who believes in our mission and vision, who has a plan for greatness on and off the field, and who will work tirelessly to elevate BC Football.

"Bill is a gifted leader who has had a tremendous amount of success as a head coach and coordinator at both the collegiate and NFL levels. His passion for teaching football and developing young men make him a great fit to lead Boston College to greater heights."

O’Brien replaces another former Ohio State coordinator, Jeff Hafley, who became Boston College’s head coach in 2020 after just one year as Ohio State’s co-defensive coordinator. Hafley left Boston College last week to become the defensive coordinator of the Green Bay Packers.

O’Brien leaves Ohio State before even coaching his first practice with the Buckeyes, as he was just hired by Ohio State in January. He was previously the New England Patriots’ offensive coordinator for the 2023 season.

The unexpected opening of the Boston College job created an opportunity for O’Brien to get a head coaching job and stay in Massachusetts with his family, who had not yet moved to Columbus. O’Brien is a Boston native. He will be introduced to the Boston College media and campus community on Thursday at 11 a.m. inside the Barber Room of the Yawkey Athletics Center.

With O'Brien's departure, Ohio State found itself with two vacancies on its coaching staff more than a month removed from the end of its 2023 season. The Buckeyes have not yet filled the vacancy opened up by the firing of special teams coordinator Parker Fleming.

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day moved quickly in finding O'Brien's replacement, as the Buckeyes will reportedly hire UCLA head coach Chip Kelly as the program's next offensive coordinator. Day and Kelly have a longstanding relationship that started when Day played for Kelly at New Hampshire in the 1990s. They have remained close relationally and professionally ever since.

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