Apparently, Oregon coach Chip Kelly did outgrow the small pond of Eugene. So to speak.
Ten days after it was reported by multiple media outlets that Kelly would be not be the new coach of the Philadelphia Eagles — with Kelly’s own boss gushing over the coach’s honesty through the whole situation — it appears Kelly has had a change of heart.
Per ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Kelly is the new coach of the Eagles. An announcement is TBD.
NFL.com, Footballscoop.com and 247Sports are among the other outlets now reporting that Kelly will in fact be the coach of the Eagles. The Pac-12 Network’s Bryan Fischer reports that the deal came within the last 24 hours, meaning the Eagles made another run at Kelly after an unsuccessful coaching search.
Via Oregon’s Twitter page, Kelly informed the school he will in fact be the new coach of the Eagles.
Kelly had been linked to multiple NFL openings over the past month, including those with the Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills. The fourth-year coach reportedly interviewed with those organizations after the Ducks’ Fiesta Bowl win over Kansas State earlier this month and was, at one point, even said to be close to inking a deal with the Browns.
Kelly is 46-7 in four years as head coach of the Ducks with four BCS bowl appearances. Oregon’s offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich is expected to be promoted to succeed Kelly.
Oregon will face the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions — reportedly this spring — as the program continues to deal with the fallout of the Willie Lyles recruiting scandal.
Updated 12:50 p.m. ET: The Eagles have announced that Kelly is the team’s new coach in a release.
“Chip Kelly will be an outstanding head coach for the Eagles,” said Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie. “He has a brilliant football mind. He motivates his team with his actions as well as his words. He will be a great leader for us and will bring a fresh, energetic approach to our team.”
Nick Saban has found his fourth offensive coordinator in 14 months, and he didn’t have to go very far do so.
With rumors swirling around a certain disgraced former SEC head coach, signs had seemingly been pointing to Saban possibly, or even likely staying in-house for his next Alabama coordinator on the offensive side of the ball. According to Chris Low of ESPN.com, the head coach plans to do just that as Mike Locksley is expected to be promoted to offensive coordinator. It’s expected Locksley will assume responsibilities as the Tide’s quarterbacks coach as well.
Locksley would replace Brian Daboll, who left after one season in Tuscaloosa for the same job with the Buffalo Bills earlier this month.
Locksley has spent the past two seasons with the Crimson Tide, the first as an offensive analyst and last year as co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach.
The former New Mexico head coach last served as a coordinator at Maryland from 2012-15. He also spent three seasons (2006-08) in the same job at Illinois.
Yesterday, we noted that the door might be ajar for Jauan Jennings‘ return to the Tennessee football team. A day later, it appears he may have been given permission to walk across the threshold.
While there’s nothing official from the program, Jennings, who is enrolled at UT for this semester at UT, indicated on his private Instagram account Thursday evening that he will be playing “one last season” with the Volunteers.
In November of last year, Jennings went off on a profanity-laced social-media tirade aimed at the coaching staff. The day after, he was dismissed by interim head coach Brady Hoke, who made the decision in concert with then-athletic director John Currie.
Jennings has since met with new head coach Jeremy Pruitt and new athletic director Phillip Fulmer about a return. “I think (Pruitt has) put some parameters around” a return Fulmer stated during a radio interview late last week, “and I guess everybody has got to figure out what those are and if they’re really going to do it.”
In early September, prior to the off-field issue, Jennings suffered what turned out to be a season-ending wrist injury that limited him to three catches for 17 yards in just one game.
Jennings, who originally came to the Vols as a quarterback, was second on the team in 2016 with 580 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. His 40 receptions were tied for second on the team as well.
A familiar face has returned to the Colorado coaching staff.
Following up on reports that surfaced earlier this week, CU confirmed that Mike MacIntyre has hired Ashley Ambrose as the Buffaloes’ new cornerbacks coach. Ambrose spent the 2008-10 seasons with the Buffaloes, first as a defensive assistant and then, after a very brief stint as wide receivers coach, he took over CU’s defensive backs.
“We’re really excited about Ashley Ambrose coming to the University of Colorado, he brings great expertise for our corners that he’ll be coaching,” MacIntyre said in a statement. “He was here before, loved it then and I am glad to have him back now. Not only does he bring great coaching experience over the last few years, but he also brings phenomenal playing experience from being in the NFL, so he’ll add a lot to our secondary.”
Then past two seasons, Ambrose was the defensive backs coach at Boise State. He’s also had collegiate stops at Cal (2011-12), Idaho (2014), Texas State (2015).
Ambrose, a second-round pick in the 1992 NFL draft, spent 13 seasons at that level of football.
Bob Stitt, who has become a bit of a cult hero in the college football coaching world over the last few years, is moving on up. Oklahoma State will reportedly add Stitt as an offensive analyst, according to a report from Bruce Feldman of Sports Illustrated, via Twitter.
Stitt was fired by Montana after this past season after missing the FCS playoffs for a second consecutive season and a second-round exit in his first season with the program in 2015. Stitt had become a rising star in the lower levels of college football after reshaping the offensive strategies with Colorado Mines in Division 2. The Nebraska native has coached a Harlon Hill Trophy winner (Division 2’s equivalent to the Heisman Trophy) and has coached Colorado Mines to three conference championships. Stitt gained notoriety after being given credit for his offensive strategies by West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen.
Stitt being let go by Montana came as a bit of a surprise after just three seasons with the program. Offensively speaking, Oklahoma State rarely needs any assistance in moving the football and scoring, but Mike Gundy is wise to bring in a mind like Stitt to add to the expanding of the offensive schemes in Stillwater.
As an offensive analyst, Stitt will be prevented from doing any on-field coaching and instead will focus on prepping the game plan and breaking down film. However, having Stitt on the staff in some capacity leaves a door open for a future position on the 10-man coaching staff should a position open at some point.