It’s been a busy morning on the coaching front, and it’s not even quite noon ET just yet.
Around the same time that Mike Riley was officially being canned by Nebraska, reports began to surface that Chip Kelly had finalized a deal to become the head coach at UCLA. During ESPN‘s College GameDay show, it was reported that Kelly, who spent the 2017 season as an analyst for the network, had confirmed to them that he has taken the Bruins job.
Not long after he confirmed it to his old employer, his new employer officially welcomed him to the family.
“I am thrilled to welcome Chip Kelly to Westwood,” said athletic director Dan Guerrero. “His success speaks for itself, but more than that, I firmly believe that his passion for the game and his innovative approach to coaching student-athletes make him the perfect fit for our program. ‘Champions Made Here’ is more than just a mantra at UCLA, and I’m confident that Chip will lead UCLA Football back to competing for championships. I’d like to thank Josh Rebholz, Casey Wasserman and Troy Aikman for their input during this process, as their candor, experience and support were invaluable.”
“It is an absolute honor to join the Bruin Family, and I am grateful to Chancellor Block and to Dan Guerrero for this incredible opportunity,” said Kelly. “UCLA is a world-class institution with a distinguished history in athletics, and we will do our part to uphold its tradition of excellence.”
Kelly’s contract is for five years and worth a total of $23.3 million. There is what the school described as a $9 million reciprocal buyout contained in the contract.
Kelly, who had been heavily pursued by Florida, will be officially introduced at a Monday press conference.
The move is a return home of sorts for Kelly as he spent six seasons in the Pac-12, the first two as Oregon’s offensive coordinator and the last four as head coach. In those four seasons, he led the Ducks to a 44-5 record, three conference championships, a Rose Bowl win and an appearance in the BCS title game.
Kelly’s been removed from the college game, coaching-wise, since 2012 as he spent the 2013-15 seasons as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and 2016 in the same capacity with the San Francisco 49ers.
Incidentally, Kelly was hired by UCLA on his 54th birthday. The man Kelly replaced, Jim Mora, was fired on his 56th birthday.