By CSNNW.com Staff:
After days of interviews with NFL brass, including sit downs wit Buffalo, Cleveland, and Philadelphia, Ducks fans got their wish as news broke Sunday night that Chip Kelly would remain head coach of the Oregon Ducks, according to team source.
Much speculation began after "Black Monday", which led to the firing of 7 NFL head coaches. Chip Kelly became the lead target of many of those teams. In the days after the Fiesta Bowl, Kelly interviewed with 3 teams. The Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles both made offers to Oregon's head coach, according to various reports and confirmed by CSN.
Kelly indicated that he wanted this process to go as quickly as possible, though also indicated he wanted to do his due diligence when it came to hearing what NFL teams had to offer.
Ian Rappaport of NFL Network double confirmed the news along with USA Today's George Schroeder, indicating that it was Oregon's most influential booster, Phil Knight, who "stepped up" to help retain the head ball coach.
As of 8pm Sunday night, no players had been informed that Chip Kelly would remain their head coach. "He has and will continue to be our coach," one player indicated. According to this player, he is not surprised Kelly is staying put and didn't expect to be notified of the news because Kelly never left in the first place.
CSN reached out to members of the UO staff who declined comment at this point in time.
Chip Kelly, after the Fiesta Bowl, talked about the allure of coaching in the NFL. "I mean, that's part of what this whole coaching thing is. It's more a fact-finding mission, finding out if it fits or doesn't fit. Like I said, I've been in one interview in my life for the National Football League, and that was a year ago.
"I don't really have any preconceived notions about it. I think that's what this deal is all about for me. I'll get an opportunity if people do call, see where they are. I want to get it wrapped up quickly and figure out where I'm going to be."
One high ranking sports executive told CSN in December, before the end of the season, that Chip Kelly would remain Oregon's head coach and that the demands that Kelly and agent David Dunn came with, without an NFL resume, were not feasible.
"He is intent on coaching in the NFL, but executives may not have been as keen on Chip Kelly as one might have thought," one source connected with the Ducks program told CSN. "What he wanted for what he's done might have scared some teams off."
"Kelly wanted a couple of things from the Ducks program," one source said. "And he got them." Those "things" will be determined in the aftermath of Chip's "return".
"The offer from the Browns was never as far along as had originally reported," another source tells CSN. "There were negotiations, but they weren't ever as far as 'sign the dotted line' as one might have thought."
Kelly, 48, who turned down the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for their head coaching position last off-season, has led Oregon to three consecutive conference championships in the Pac-12 (2009-2011)and four consecutive appearances in BCS bowl games. Oregon has alternated between the Rose Bowl and Fiesta Bowl over the past four years.
A two-time conference coach of the year, Kelly led the Ducks to the BCS title game in 2011 only to lose on a last second field goal to Auburn (22-19). Hes compiled a record of 46-7 in his four years as Oregon head coach. Kelly's spread run system has allowed his Oregon teams to average 44.2 points per game in his four seasons as head coach,scoring 40 points or more in 39 of their 53 games on his watch.
In 2012 including the teams BCS bowl victory Thursday night, Kelly's Ducks averaged almost 50 points a game (49.6) and scored 89 touchdowns in 13 games. Kelly's Oregon team has a 15-game road winning streak, which leads the country and will carry over to the 2013 season. They haven't lost a road game since 2009. His Ducks squad is also 15-6 against AP top 25 teams and 6-3 against the AP Top 10.He began his college coaching career at Columbia (1990-1991) before returning to New Hampshire, his alma mater where he first served as running backs coach in 1992.
After a one-year stint as defensive coordinator at Johns Hopkins, Kelly returned to New Hampshire where he coached for the next 13 seasons as running backs coach (1994-96), offensive line coach (1997-98) before being elevated to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach (1999-2006).
Adam Schefter of ESPN originally broke the news. Stay tuned for more information as it comes.