(CBS SPORTS) Chip Kelly reportedly finalizing deal to become UCLA’s new coach. Kelly looks on his way to returning to the Pac-12 after a five-year absence from college football.
Chip Kelly is set to be named the next head coach at UCLA, according to Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports and Football Scoop. This comes hours after ESPN announced he would not be on the air Saturday for its college football shows and one day after a report from Yahoo Sports’ Pat Forde stated that Florida, another school heavily pursuing Kelly, had “moved on” in its search.
Florida is now believed to be zeroing in on UCF second-year coach Scott Frost, who just completed an undefeated regular season with the Knights.
Kelly has been working for ESPN as a college football analyst during the 2017 season following his one-year stop with the San Francisco 49ers in 2016. Prior to that, Kelly went 26-21 with the Philadelphia Eagles over three years, a run highlighted by an NFC East title in 2013.
The college game knows Kelly for the massive success he had at Oregon. After arriving in Eugene in 2007 as offensive coordinator, Kelly wasted no time making his mark on college football. His offenses ranked in the top 10 nationally in points per game each year he was in Eugene. Once promoted to head coach after Mike Bellotti became athletic director, he put together one of the most impressive four-year runs ever by a first-time major college football head coach.
Kelly totaled a 46-7 record in his four years as Oregon’s coach, winning three conference titles, reaching the BCS National Championship Game in 2010 and finishing in the top four of the final polls for three straight years (2010-12).
But that tenure was not without controversy as the NCAA Committee on Infractions handed down penalties to the program in 2013 because of recruiting violations, including three years of probation and an 18-month show-cause penalty for Kelly. The show-cause penalty, which essentially requires any school to petition the NCAA prior to hiring the individual in question, expired for Kelly during his time with the Eagles.
Earlier this month, a report from 247Sports’ Bruin Report Online stated that UCLA was pursuing Kelly after firing coach Jim Mora. UCLA owes Mora more than $12 million in buyout money, so the willingness to pay that money implied the program was trying to immediately upgrade its coach for a splash hire, which Kelly obviously would be.
Story courtesy of CBS Sports News.