Chip Kelly Twists; Update

Chip Kelly Twists; Update

Updated: 10:30PST 11/23/2017. No contract has been signed and there is no confirmation of offer details. 

The UCLA group returned to Los Angeles Wednesday, as did Kelly’s agent David Dunn, whose agency is based in Laguna Hills, CA.

The phone conversation Kelly had with Phil Knight, as referenced below, is the point of content in USA Today’s reporting on the story. Reporter George Shroeder says the UCLA-Under Armour relationship is a “Potential sticking point,” as Knight considers them to be a “bitter rival,” to his Nike brand. 

Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports says there is a story reported throughout Florida media outlets that Kelly had already signed a non-binding agreement with Florida. The agreement allegedly had a window of time for an out clause, and that the clause was what allowed him to meet with UCLA. The timing of the agreement revolves around Kelly still being paid his termination money from the San Francisco 49ers.

Fox Sports Radio reports that Kelly has chosen UCLA but will not take any affirmative action until at least Sunday.

There are also reports that Florida has begun to look at other potential candidates for the head coaching job, just in case. To this time, Kelly is the only candidate UCLA has formally interviewed.  


Multiple media outlets, as well as sources for Last Word on College Football, are reporting that Chip Kelly has chosen to take over as head football coach at UCLA. There is no confirmation from UCLA or Kelly. Sources indicate that the school wants to wait until after Friday night’s regular season finale against Cal before saying anything.

Kelly has been courted by Florida, as a replacement for the fired Jim McElwain, for well over three weeks. Sunday, members of Florida’s University Athletic Association, (UAA), flew to Kelly’s New Hampshire home for a previously planned meeting with him. UCLA had announced earlier in the day that they had fired head coach Jim Mora, just shy of completing his 6th full year at the helm.

UCLA’s selection committee of athletic director Dan Guerrero, former quarterback Troy Aikman, associate athletic director Josh Rebholz and financial benefactor Casey Wasserman, were in communication with David Dunn, a UCLA grad and Kelly’s agent. The two sides met in person on Tuesday at Kelly’s home in New Hampshire.

Sources have indicated that Kelly has called former assistant coaches to get a gauge on their desire to work on a staff at UCLA. Some other media outlets have also reported that Kelly called long time associate Phil Knight, co-founder and chairman emeritus of Nike. Kelly was head coach at Oregon from 2009 through 2012, and Knight is the preeminent financial donor for the university. The two were known to have developed a close relationship, and it is reported that Kelly wanted to discuss working for a non-Nike school. Florida is a Nike school. UCLA is an Under Armour school. The school and the clothing company signed the largest collegiate apparel deal in history last year at 15 years for $280 million dollars. That contractual arrangement began in June of this year.

Kelly was 46-7 overall in hs four years at Oregon, and 33-3 in Pac 12 play. He won the Pac 12 Championship three of the four years in Eugene. The Ducks were two and two in bowl games during his tenure, including a three-point loss in the BCS National Championship game in 2010.

From Oregon he went to the NFL. He was in Philadelphia from 2013 through 2015 with a 26-21 record. He spent 2016 in San Francisco and went 2-14. He is currently working as a college football studio analyst for ESPN.

No contractual terms of any kind have leaked out as the reports and sourcing are preliminary. With UCLA wishing to hold off an announcement until after Friday, the situation is still fluid. If this is finalized, it would certainly be the first time in more than four decades that UCLA took a big swing at a major name coach and got their first choice.