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Chip Kelly is our 'Coach of the Year'

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If Chip Kelly isn’t the “Coach of the Year,” they should just stop giving out the award.

We realize that there’s a long list of worthy candidates out there, but none of them can compare to what Kelly has accomplished with Rose Bowl-bound Oregon this season.

Thirteen Thursday nights ago, the Ducks were dead. They were golden brown and orange, hanging by their necks in that Chinese restaurant on the corner.

In his first game as Oregon’s head coach, Kelly was entrusted with the No. 16 team in the country. His Ducks were ranked behind two other Pac-10 teams (meaning they were projected to be Sun Bowl-bound), but there were still high hopes in Eugene.

Then, after the first 60 minutes of football and a few seconds afterward, the “Chip Kelly Era” was dead on arrival.

Oregon fell flat on its face in a 19-8 loss at Boise State in the prime-time spotlight of the national lid-lifter, unable to gain a measly first down until midway through the third quarter.

Then came the capper, star running back LeGarrette Blount landed a sucker punch to the jaw of a Bronco player after the final gun that resulted some severely ugly television and a season-long suspension (which really wasn’t).  Blount became a YouTube sensation and the Oregon football program was nothing but a big black eye.

Remember … all of this occurred during Kelly’s maiden voyage into the world of collegiate head coaching. He responded with an empty deer-in-the-headlights gaze.

There was seemingly no road back. And even if there was, it was clear that the rookie coach wasn’t the guy to get them there. He was apparently a big part of the problem.

As hard as it must have been to get his players to believe that there was still some promise in the season, it must have even been harder for Kelly to get himself to believe what he was saying.

But against all odds and within an extremely competitive conference, Kelly brought the Ducks back. All the way back. All the way to Pasadena, after registering a thrilling 37-33 decision over arch-rival Oregon State in the “Civil War/Pac-10 Championship Game.”

And thank goodness.

For the first time in the last four years, a Pac-10 team is happy about going to the Rose Bowl.

How refreshing is that?

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Respond to “Chip Kelly is our 'Coach of the Year'”
  1. skinny pigeon says: Dec 4, 2009 7:10 AM

    I have to agree with your selection. And reality is, if it wasn’t for the horrible start, I wouldn’t be able to tell you who Chip Kelly is.
    The only Ducks we see in the southeast are golden brown and orange, hanging by. . . wait, where I have I heard this?

  2. Buck Owens says: Dec 4, 2009 8:46 AM

    Right idea, wrong Kelly.
    Brian Kelly is the Coach of the Year.
    Oregon lost at home against Boise State and got smoked by Stanford later in the year. This is Coach of the Year material?
    Cincinnati has stayed focused all year despite injuries at QB, avoided let downs after big wins and not let the ND talk become a distraction. If they beat Pitt Saturday, Brian Kelly is the Coach of the Year.

  3. grandavenue says: Dec 4, 2009 9:46 AM

    While I appreciate Kelly being able to keep his team with only 1 PAC – 10 loss and 2 overall, how many times did he state Blount would NOT be back on the field? How many times did he get angry at the constant questions regarding it? I respect Kelly as a coach, but have a hard time taking anything he says serious. Not a good way to start a Head Coaching career, going back on something you got angry about answering.

  4. gonzojm says: Dec 4, 2009 9:47 AM

    What’s up with Kelly’s tongue? He’s either been swilling some serious Gatorade or going all Twilight on someone.
    Regardless, that’s pretty jacked up.

  5. Ida hoe says: Dec 4, 2009 9:54 AM

    Is he really coach of the year or did other Pac 10 teams fail to make the Rose Bowl which makes him look better?
    Blunt shouldn’t have been allowed back. “Cave man” Kelly had no backbone with that decision.
    What message did he send to the recruits and other players. Not good. Roger Goodel needs to give the “Caveman” some lessons in dicipline.
    Coach Peterson has done way more with less talent including beating the Ducks and you want to give Caveman an award?
    Sucker punches are for cheaters and kittys.

  6. Pier588 says: Dec 4, 2009 10:41 AM

    Buck Owens nailed it Tamanaha – BRIAN Kelly and not Chip is the deserving party.
    Simply put – undefeated vs 2 losses – the winner hands down is Kelly (as in Brian).

  7. stnmmc says: Dec 4, 2009 10:51 AM

    Oregon lost at home against Boise State
    Actually they lost at Boise State on the Smurf Turf, BSU was wearing their home blues to match that wretched turf.

  8. CynicL1 says: Dec 4, 2009 12:31 PM

    Both Coach Kelly’s have done astonishing things with their teams this year and either is well worthy of coach of the Year. Chip Kelly’s and Oregons turn around in the always tough PAC 10 is the epitome of good coaching and team management. As for Cincy’s record, outstanding, for a purported weak sister they have performed briliantly and Coach Brian Kelly’s deserves all the accolades he will get. Co-Coach of the year awards perhaps?

  9. JStal says: Dec 4, 2009 2:18 PM

    Blunt should never have been suspended for the season. That was Chip Kelly’s mistake and he was man enough to correct it. He kept the team first and didn’t play him until tonight. I’m really tired of everyone blowing “the punch” out of proportion. How does it compare to Spikes going after the eyes of a player trapped helplessly under the pile?
    I think both Kelly’s have done a great job. I think Chip should get coach of the year and Brian should get the ND job. Chip experienced adversity this year. Brian can experience his next.

  10. Ray says: Dec 4, 2009 3:27 PM

    Good thing the actual award isn’t decided by these geniuses commenting…
    Ya’ll do know that the Coach of the Year doesn’t go to the coach with the best record, right?
    Brian Kelly’s job has been admirable. But he deserves a BCS bowl, not a Coach of the Year for his football accomplishments.
    As a ROOKIE COACH, Chip has had to deal with so many exo-football adversity and challenges, and led his team to the ROSE BOWL in his ROOKIE season in the deepest conference in college football. (mind you, they play a round robin, so their record is actually meaningful, not some blown up deception like cincy’s is)
    Chip has fought hard through the most challenging situations a football coach can face, and has won a championship despite it all. He brought Angel, an Oklahoma girl with cerebral palsy (who happens to light up and laugh only when she see the ducks) as his personal guest to the civil war, presenting her with her own custom jersey, and making a once-in a lifetime experience for her and her family. They admitted to a reporter that they are likely duck fans for life because of the way Chip treated them.
    It’s not about the record. Its about the man.
    If he DOESN’T get it, I’ll be certainly disappointed that so many would make one coach of the year on record alone, without even looking to the man for his actions and his strength in the face of adversity.

  11. Ray says: Dec 4, 2009 3:29 PM

    “Buck Owens nailed it Tamanaha – BRIAN Kelly and not Chip is the deserving party.
    Simply put – undefeated vs 2 losses – the winner hands down is Kelly (as in Brian).”
    Yeah pretty much this the worst reasoning in the history of the planet for coach of the year.

  12. uoskier says: Dec 5, 2009 3:01 AM

    The other thing Chip Kelly has done (that many may not be aware of), is that he actually refunded a fans expense to the Boise game out of his own pocket and for the Civil War game, bought a ticket to a UO senior girl who was trying to buy her ticket to the game when the student computer system shut down, canceling out her order.
    That shows class and compassion for the little people…..

  13. Buck Owens says: Dec 5, 2009 5:30 PM

    Brian Kelly has done many of the same Mother Theresa-like gestures this year. Rather than dwell on those niceties, I will simply let his record of 12-0 do the talking.
    As far as adversity goes, Cincinnati lost a potential Heisman Trophy quarterback and remained undefeated.
    As far a round robin conference play goes, we beat every other team in our conference. Can the Ducks say that?
    Ray you may want to stick to Lifetime movies. The sentimentality suits your logic. The cold hard facts seem like they are too much for you to face.

  14. TGS12 says: Dec 9, 2009 1:28 AM

    “Brian Kelly has done many of the same Mother Theresa-like gestures this year. Rather than dwell on those niceties, I will simply let his record of 12-0 do the talking.”
    Rutgers
    Southeast Missouri State
    Fresno State
    Oregon State
    Miami (OH)
    USF
    Louisville
    Syracuse
    Connecticut
    West Virginia
    Illinois
    Pittsburgh
    Yeah, Oregon would be 12-0 with that schedule too.

  15. Buck Owens says: Dec 11, 2009 5:58 AM

    And the Home Depot Coach of the Year award goes to Brian Kelly.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_Depot_Coach_of_the_Year_Award

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