Ohio State football’s freshly appointed offensive coordinator is already on the verge of pursuing another position

Might Bill O’Brien’s stint as Ohio State football’s offensive coordinator be shorter than a month?

O’Brien is being considered as a serious contender for the head coach position at Boston College. This opportunity arose after former OSU defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley departed to become the Green Bay Packers’ defensive coordinator.

Hafley’s tenure with the Buckeyes lasted only a season. News of O’Brien’s hiring was announced on January 18, giving him just over three weeks as OSU’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. In this time, he began working with the quarterbacks, including new transfer Will Howard and standout Alabama freshman Julian Sayin. O’Brien also initiated the process of becoming the primary overseer of the offense under Day.

Should O’Brien depart, Day will need to seek alternative candidates at a later stage. Teams have already commenced winter workouts, with some starting spring practices in less than a month. Furthermore, O’Brien’s departure would leave two staff vacancies, as Day has yet to appoint an expected fifth defensive assistant.

O’Brien, formerly of Penn State and the Houston Texans, fulfills many of the criteria Day sought in his first true offensive coordinator. He possesses extensive head coaching experience, along with years of play-calling and quarterback coaching at the highest levels. His recent positions include offensive coordinator roles under Nick Saban at Alabama and Bill Belichick with the Patriots.

Family considerations may influence O’Brien’s decision. His son, Jack, suffers from lissencephaly, a neurological disorder. O’Brien’s family is already settled in the Boston area after his stint with the Patriots.

While the financial details of O’Brien’s agreement with OSU remain undisclosed, the Boston College job would likely offer higher compensation.

Some of Day’s other potential offensive coordinator candidates have accepted other positions. Former Kentucky offensive coordinator Liam Coen recently joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, other candidates with similar qualifications to O’Brien, such as Toledo’s Jason Candle, Akron’s Joe Moorhead, or Florida’s Dan Mullen, could be considered.

Ohio State did not retain former quarterbacks coach Corey Dennis upon hiring O’Brien. This could potentially allow Day to combine both positions, as he did with O’Brien and Brian Hartline, who technically serves as co-offensive coordinator with O’Brien.

If Day cannot find the desired offensive coordinator after O’Brien’s potential departure, he may opt to make another quarterbacks coach hire and retain play-calling duties himself for at least one more season. However, this may not align with Day’s ideal plan for 2024. He aims to appoint someone who can offer the experienced perspective and play-calling expertise that Kevin Wilson provided before departing after the 2022 season to become Tulsa’s head coach. If O’Brien exits, Day will likely continue his proactive approach to the offseason in pursuing suitable replacements.

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