I’ve written a lot about the job UCLA Bruins offensive line coach Justin Frye did this past season. Well, Frye’s hard work has been rewarded by head coach Chip Kelly with a promotion to offensive coordinator.
UCLA officially announced the promotion in a press release this afternoon.
There is absolutely no doubt that Frye has earned this promotion. In just one season, Frye has turned the offensive line around from one of the weakest units on the team to one of the strongest. Additionally, under Frye’s direction, the offensive line helped Joshua Kelley become UCLA’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Paul Perkins did it in 2015.
On top of that, Frye appears to be able to recruit. Just last week he landed 4-star recruit Sean Rhyan from San Juan Hills HS in San Juan Capistrano, along with two other 3-star offensive line recruits.
At the same time, today’s announcement raises some interesting questions without providing any answers.
The first question it raises is “Will Frye will be given play calling duties or will Chip Kelly continue to call the offense?” As Ben Bolch of the LA Times suggests, it’s also possible that Kelly and Frye could work collaboratively on play calling.
The second question the announcement doesn’t answer is whether or not Frye will continue to have responsibilities for the offensive line or if a separate offensive line coach will be brought in to fill that role.
If I had to guess, and it would be nothing but a guess at this point, I would expect that Kelly will continue calling plays, possibly with input from Frye, and that Frye will continue to coaching the offensive line in addition to any extra duties he may acquire as offensive coordinator.
At the very least, it’s a well-earned vote of confidence in Frye from Kelly and it goes along with gBruin’s oft-repeated mantra that “Line wins games.”