Ohio State hires UCLA’s Justin Frye to become its offensive line coach

Justin Frye
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Justin Frye, UCLA’s offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, has agreed to become Ohio State’s offensive line coach and associate head coach for offense in a move that helps him return closer to his Midwestern roots.

His departure will deprive UCLA of one of its top assistants, Frye developing the team’s offensive line into a considerable strength in recent seasons while also becoming a dogged recruiter.

“In relation to their player development,” Sam Yoon, an offensive lineman from Los Angeles Loyola High who signed with the Bruins last month, said recently, “I felt that coach Frye is a fantastic developer of offensive linemen, so that did play into my decision” to pick UCLA.


Frye’s departure should not heavily impact the Bruins’ play calling because coach Chip Kelly is believed to largely handle those responsibilities. Frye, 38, joined Kelly’s staff before the 2018 season as the offensive line coach before earning the additional title bump to offensive coordinator in 2019.

UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson will return for a fifth season, putting him in position to set school records while enhancing his NFL stock.

Jan. 10, 2022

Frye provided a spirited start to practices, slapping hands, patting helmets and bumping chests while moving from one player to another during stretching exercises.

A native of Elwood, Ind., who played collegiately at Indiana, Frye will move much closer to home with his arrival at Ohio State. He’ll also be part of a team that routinely competes for Big Ten Conference titles and appearances in the College Football Playoff.

Frye has strong ties to Ohio State coach Ryan Day, having coached the offensive line at Boston College for two seasons while Day was the Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Frye stayed at Boston College for three more seasons after Day moved on to become quarterbacks coach in the NFL under Kelly with the Eagles and San Francisco 49ers.

UCLA posted one of the top rushing offenses in the Pac-12 in recent seasons thanks in large part to the work of Frye’s offensive line. In 2021, the Bruins’ average of 215.1 rushing yards ranked No. 17 nationally, and the team ran for at least 200 yards in all eight victories.