Former Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy is moving to the college ranks

Eric Bieniemy, who has been unable to get a head-coaching job in the NFL, is moving back to the college ranks.

ESPN and CBS Sports both reported that Bieniemy has been hired to be UCLA’s associate head coach/offensive coordinator.

Bieniemy, who was on Chiefs coach Andy Reid’s staff for 10 years before becoming the Washington Commanders offensive coordinator last season, went to high school in La Puente, California, just outside of Los Angeles, so he’s returning to an area he knows well.

“I have had countless conversations and interviews with many teams and I have been applauded and lauded,” Bieniemy told ESPN. “I can’t say why certain decisions were or were not made but it had nothing to (do) with a lack of anything on my end.

“My self-dignity, worth, integrity, personhood, manhood will never be questions or compromised. It is not always about money, either. With everything in life, it is often all about timing. At this time in my life, the opportunity affords me the pleasure of continuing in to be a maker and leader of men, to do what I love, follow my passion and my dreams while not compromising on who I am as a man.”

UCLA was one of Bieniemy’s first stops in his coaching career. He was the Bruins’ running backs coach from 2003-05. After working for the Vikings and University of Colorado, Bieniemy was hired by Chiefs coach Reid as a running backs coach in 2013. After five seasons, he was promoted to offensive coordinator.

Bieniemy, 54, had interviews with multiple NFL teams about their vacant head-coaching jobs while with the Chiefs, but he wasn’t hired. After the Chiefs won Super Bowl LVII, Bieniemy joined the Commanders staff as offensive coordinator/assistant head coach.

Now he’s poised to join new UCLA coach DeShaun Foster’s staff.

“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 Sports. “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.

“... This is a great opportunity to work at a historical institution that has produced a number of successful alums in many different professions across the board. It is an opportunity for my family and I to return back to a place we once called home. This is a great opportunity for me to utilize all of my experience working with future Hall of Fame players and a Hall of Fame head coach (Reid) to help teach and inspire young men what it takes to be successful on and off the field.”