Eric Bieniemy takes over as Chiefs and Commanders at UCLA

LANDOVER, MD - JANUARY 07: Offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy of the Washington Commanders reacts before the game against the Dallas Cowboys at FedExField on January 7, 2024 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Eric Bieniemy is heading to the Big Ten.

Eric Bieniemy is heading back to college football.

According to ESPN, the former Kansas City Chiefs and Washington Commanders offensive coordinator will be the offensive coordinator and associate head coach at UCLA. Bieniemy will work for new UCLA coach DeShaun Foster after Foster was promoted to succeed Chip Kelly as the Bruins’ head coach.

Bieniemy was the offensive coordinator in Kansas City from 2018-2022 as the Chiefs won two Super Bowls and hosted the AFC championship game in each of those five seasons. Bieniemy’s work under Andy Reid and with Patrick Mahomes earned him numerous head coaching interviews with NFL teams, but he kept getting passed over for other candidates.

With his contract up at the end of the 2022 season — and the Chiefs coming off a Super Bowl win — Bieniemy amicably parted ways with the Chiefs for the same role with the Commanders. That lasted just one season. Washington QB Sam Howell was sacked the most of any quarterback in 2023 and the Commanders scuffled to a 4-13 record before coach Ron Rivera was fired at the end of the season.

That left Bieniemy out of a job heading into 2024 and seemingly on the back foot as NFL teams finalized their new coaching staffs. As all the offensive coordinator positions were filled in the NFL — and Kliff Kingsbury succeeded him in Washington — heading back to the college ranks was Bieniemy’s best option to keep coaching at the top levels of football in 2024.

Bieniemy has college coaching experience and has coached at UCLA too. The former Colorado running back got his college football coaching start with the Buffaloes for two seasons before heading to UCLA in 2003 to be the Bruins’ running backs coach. He was at UCLA for three seasons before taking a job with the Minnesota Vikings.

Bieniemy went back to Colorado in 2011 and served as the Buffs’ offensive coordinator for two seasons before he was hired as the Chiefs’ running backs coach in 2013.

Bieniemy’s return to Los Angeles comes as UCLA navigates a move to the Big Ten with a new coaching staff. The Bruins looked set to enter the Big Ten with Kelly at the helm but he left earlier in the month to become Ohio State’s offensive coordinator. Kelly’s departure came after new Ohio State offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien’s tenure lasted weeks before he was hired as the new head coach at Boston College.

Foster, a former UCLA running back, was promoted within days to succeed Kelly. Foster, a former UCLA running back, has been a college assistant since 2013 and has spent all but one of those seasons at his alma mater.

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