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Next UCLA Coach Odds: Top Candidates To Replace Chip Kelly

Dan Kilbridge for Bookies.com

Dan Kilbridge  | 4 mins

Next UCLA Coach Odds: Top Candidates To Replace Chip Kelly

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One of the strangest college football offseason coaching cycles in recent memory ventured into downright weird territory Friday, with UCLA coach Chip Kelly leaving the Bruins to become the new offensive coordinator at Ohio State. 

To be clear, Kelly was not forced out, and it’s not often you see established head coaches volunteer for a demotion – especially considering UCLA and Ohio State are now in the same conference. 

It’s a brutal blow for the Bruins, losing Kelly just a few days after National Signing Day at a time when most of the important coaching dominos have already fallen. But there are still options – Boston College, for example, was able to lure Bill O’Brien away from Ohio State just a month after he accepted the offensive coordinator job in Columbus. 

With a solid brand and resources, UCLA should still have a few solid options as the Bruins look to venture into the Big Ten with a new head man on the sidelines. 

Next UCLA Coach Odds

Next UCLA CoachOddsImplied Probability
Jamey Chadwell+30025%
D’Anton Lynn+35022.2%
David Shaw+45018.2%
Tony White+65013.3%
PJ Fleck+70012.5%
Ryan Grubb+15006.5%
Barry Odom+20004.8%
Tom Herman+50002%

This market is for entertainment purposes only and has been created by the Bookies.com team. It is not currently available on betting apps. Percentages will not add up to 100% most time because these are designed to simulate odds a sportsbook would set.

UCLA Head Coach Candidates

If the Bruins had their pick, Liberty coach Jamey Chadwell would likely be the guy. The former Coastal Carolina coach led the Chanticleers to back-to-back 11-win seasons before taking over at Liberty last season – the Flames went 13-1 and earned a Fiest Bowl bid in Chadwell’s first year. 

While this is a massive step up from several standpoints, Chadwell was patient in building a juggernaut at Coastal Carolina and might be inclined to see it out for a while at Liberty. He’s also earning a reported $4 million per season on his current contract, so there’s not a massive financial incentive. 

A more realistic get might be D’Anton Lynn, who served as UCLA’s defensive coordinator last season before accepting the same position at USC this offseason. He’s a 34-year-old coach on the rise who would likely be a great fit – assuming he didn’t ruffle too many feathers by making a lateral move to USC in recent months. 

As for those with significant head coaching experience, long-time Stanford coach David Shaw is more than familiar with the area and has a son on the roster – freshman wide receiver Carter Shaw. But Shaw’s Stanford tenure ended in resignation with losing seasons in three of his last four years. 

Minnesota’s PJ Fleck’s name has popped up for plenty of similar openings in recent years, and he’s a solid coach by all accounts. But it’s not a huge step up for him, and PJ Fleck hasn’t proved enough with the Gophers to make it a no-brainer should he show interest. 

In terms of past ties, Nebraska defensive coordinator Tony White played linebacker for the Bruins in the late 1990s and was on staff for one year as a graduate assistant. He’s proved himself as a coordinator at Syracuse and with the Cornhuskers and could be ready to make the big jump if given the opportunity. 

Lastly, one name to keep in mind as a longshot – Tom Herman. The current Florida Atlantic coach has NFL experience with the Chicago Bears, and he also led Texas to four straight winning seasons with four bowl wins during his tenure from 2017-2020. 

This isn’t an ideal situation for UCLA and nobody expected the Bruins job to open up, especially at this time of year. However, interest should be high among potential candidates looking to take a step up at a program that won’t require a complete rebuild. 

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About the Author

Dan Kilbridge for Bookies.com
Dan Kilbridge
Handicapper Dan Kilbridge writes about college football, MLB and other sports for Bookies.com after spending three years covering Tiger Woods’ comeback and the PGA for Golfweek.