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UCLA hiring Bieniemy as OC, associate head coach

The Washington Post / Getty

UCLA is hiring former Washington Commanders and Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy as its next offensive coordinator and associate head coach, Bieniemy told Garrett Podell of CBS Sports.

The Bruins and Bieniemy are finalizing a two-year deal, according to Adam Schefter and Pete Thamel of ESPN.

Bieniemy spent the 2023 season with the Commanders after being with the Chiefs organization for 10 years, five as offensive coordinator. He was also the OC for Colorado from 2011-2012.

"This is a great opportunity for me to help support DeShaun as a new head coach, to work with him and for him as well," Bieniemy told CBS' Josina Anderson and Podell.

"I chose to fly under the radar during this hiring process, and my experience generated a lot of interest from a number of NFL teams prior to coming to this decision."

Bieniemy interviewed for the Commanders' head coaching job and two other NFL offensive coordinator positions before landing with UCLA, according to Thamel and Schefter.

The 54-year-old said he decided to leave Washington and was not fired despite reports.

"I have no regrets with the Commanders," Bieniemy told Thamel and Schefter. "Contrary to what some think and what has been put out in the media, I was not fired. I actually just chose not to stay. Learned a lot and that is always a good thing."

Washington's offense ranked 25th in points per game and 24th in yards per contest under Bieniemy last campaign.

Bieniemy added that other coaches have succeeded in returning to college after making a jump to the NFL. He pointed out that Nick Saban, Jim Harbaugh, Bill O'Brien, and Kliff Kingsbury all followed a similar path.

The California native returns to UCLA having served as running backs coach there for three seasons from 2003-2005. He's excited to coach again for his hometown school.

"Southern California, I attended high school there," Bieniemy said. "I started my career in the league here (with the Chargers). It's obviously great to be back with the Bruins, where I was previously employed."

UCLA hired DeShaun Foster as head coach after former bench boss Chip Kelly took the offensive coordinator role at Ohio State.

The Bruins will make their Big Ten debut in 2024. They went 35-34 in six seasons under Kelly.

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