Eric Bieniemy joins UCLA coaching staff in key role

    Former Washington Commanders offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy has a new job, and it is taking him back to the college game. 

    Bieniemy is joining UCLA as its associate head coach and offensive coordinator according too ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Pete Thamel.

    This move continues what has been a puzzling few years for Bieniemy when it comes to coaching opportunities. 

    Thanks to his time as offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs he was consistently talked up as one of the rising star head coaching candidates in the NFL and routinely topped head coaching wish lists. 

    But he was consistently passed over for jobs, and then ended up leaving the Chiefs prior to the 2023 season for a lateral position in Washington where he was the offensive coordinator of the Commanders. He lasted just one year there and was let go when the Commanders brought in a new coaching staff, including new offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury. 

    With the NFL hiring cycle pretty much over, Bieniemy had limited options. So now he is heading to the NCAA to work alongside first-year head coach DeShaun Foster. 

    This will not be Bieniemy’s first college coaching experience, or even his first stop at UCLA. He was also the program’s running backs coach and recruiting coordinator from 2003-05. He was also the offensive coordinator at the University of Colorado during the 2011 and 2012 seasons before joining the Chiefs. 

    One of the big questions that followed Bieniemy when he was in Kansas City was how much of a hand he actually had in the offense and the play calling, and how much of it was the result of having Patrick Mahomes at quarterback and Andy Reid being the top voice on the staff. 

    The Commanders offense had mixed results under Bieniemy. First-year starter Sam Howell threw for 3,946 yards (12th in the NFL), but did not really take a big step forward while the team finished 24th in total yards and 25th in total points. 

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