Ohio State is set to hire Bill O’Brien as its next offensive coordinator, according to 247Sports’ Dave Biddle. The move marks a major shift for coach Ryan Day, who will give up play calling as he continues to acquire talent — both on his roster and coaching staff — in an effort to get the Buckeyes back to the top of the Big Ten.
O’Brien, 54, served as offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots last season after spending the 2021 and 2022 seasons in the same position at Alabama. He also has Big Ten experience having been head coach at Penn State from 2012-13, a position he left to lead the Houston Texans from 2014-20.
Landing O’Brien is merely the latest eyebrow-raising maneuver for Day in the weeks since Ohio State’s season ended on Dec. 29 with a 14-3 loss to Missouri in the Cotton Bowl. That disastrous offensive performance underscored the need for a new identity entering the 2024 campaign.
Given the roster that the Buckeyes are developing, O’Brien should be able to assemble an elite rushing squad. With TreVeyon Henderson returning for his senior season and former Ole Miss star running back Quinshon Judkins joining out of the transfer portal, Ohio State will have one of the nation’s top backfields.
Kansas State transfer Will Howard appears to be the likely successor to Kyle McCord at quarterback after the Buckeyes’ typically prolific passing attack took a step back in 2023. While Howard has a proven track record of success, he is largely considered a middling thrower.
O’Brien boasts and elite track record working with quarterbacks. His most prominent success stories have been Tom Brady with the Patriots and Bryce Young at Alabama. Young won a Heisman Trophy under O’Brien’s tutelage in 2021.