It was announced on Sunday that UCLA football’s offensive line coach Justin Frye has been promoted to offensive coordinator. What does this mean for the Bruins going forward?
If you were a coach that was selected to take on the herculean task of improving one of the worst offensive lines in the country and you accomplish it, you are going to get noticed. That is the case for UCLA football‘s newest offensive coordinator Justin Frye, who was the Bruins’ offensive line coach in 2018.
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The decision to promote Frye was made today by head coach Chip Kelly who did it for a few reasons. Frye had pieced together an offensive line that progressively got better as the season went on, resulting in 155.2 rushing yards per game (an increase from 116.4 in 2017). That is an incredible amount of work in a small span of time which not a lot of Bruins fans saw coming.
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That kind of improvement will draw attention, and did so, especially from his head coach. With the miracle Frye was able to manifest with the line, which help lead to the overall improvement of the offense, Kelly’s mindset was to keep Frye on his staff for a long time, so this promotion was essential to lock him up before offers start flowing in.
The question now is, who will shape the offense and call plays? This past season, Kelly was the de facto offensive coordinator, running the offense and calling the plays. UCLA did not list an OC on the team’s website.
That changes this season with Frye officially filling that role. Though Frye will have more responsibilities with the offense, it is likely that Kelly continues to call plays, though it seems both Frye and Kelly will be shaping the offense together.
This season, we saw a variety of interesting pre-snap motions, formations, and unbalanced offensive lines. That type of innovation helped the Bruins to an S&P+ ranking (a measure of success) of 23, up from 64th in 2017..
With the UCLA football brain trust continually working to improve the offense, there should be even more interesting plays in Year 2 of the Kelly era. Congratulations, Coach Frye!