UPDATE: He fooled us. Chip Kelly will indeed be heading to the big leagues, as he’s agreed to take over the head coaching job for the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Associated Press is reporting that Oregon coach Chip Kelly will not make the jump to the National Football League and has opted to remain head coach at the University of Oregon.
Two people with knowledge of the decision confirmed that to the AP Sunday night, one on the condition of anonymity because the Ducks and Kelly haven’t announced the decision. The other source was not authorized to speak about Kelly’s plans.
ESPN first reported the story. Kelly was interviewed the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles, according to reports.
Kelly, 49, is 46-7 in four years at Oregon and a victory Thursday night over Kansas State gave the Ducks a 12-1 record this season. He has five years remaining on his contract at Oregon.
However, Kelly’s Ducks could be facing NCAA sanctions. Last month, Yahoo Sports reported that Oregon will appear before the NCAA committee on infractions over a 2011 inquiry regarding payments the school made to recruiting services.
A $25,000 check was sent to Willie Lyles and Houston-based Complete Scouting Services in 2010 and Lyles had a relationship with a player who initially committed to Oregon. However, Lache Seastrunk later reversed his decision and now plays at Baylor.
Kelly had been wooed last offseason by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but ultimately decided to remain at Oregon. The Buccaneers then hired former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano.
This time around, Kelly said he was willing to listen. But he also spoke at length about his loyalty to Oregon.
“I’ll listen and we’ll see,” Kelly said last week about his interest in the NFL. “(But Oregon is) a special place with special people. They accepted me six years ago when I was at New Hampshire. Not many people knew about me. Gave me an opportunity to come here. It really means a lot.”
Kelly originally came to Oregon in 2007 to serve as offensive coordinator under Mike Bellotti. Kelly was promoted to head coach when Bellotti retired after the 2008 season.
Kelly was viewed as an attractive target because of the high-octane offense he has directed while at Oregon.
The Ducks have finished eighth, first, third and second in the nation in scoring during Kelly’s tenure as head coach, including a gaudy 47-point per game average in 2010, when the Ducks reached the BCS national championship.
In 2012, Oregon averaged a school-record 49.5 points a game while piling up 537.4 yards a game.
However, many inside the league believed Kelly’s offense wouldn’t be able to translate to the pro game.
“He’s not going to be able to institute that type of offense 100 percent,” former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis said last week on “The Tim Brando Show.” “It will have to be similar to the Washington Redskins. They do it sparingly; they do some things in that area. They don’t do a whole lot because the problem you have is, as the Redskins found out, when your quarterback gets hurt, now the backup quarterback, if he’s not familiar, you’ve got to change the offense.”
In Cleveland, Kelly would not likely have had quarterbacks to fit his system in rookie Brandon Weeden and former Texas star Colt McCoy. In Philadelphia, the Eagles would have offered veteran Michael Vick and rookie Nick Foles, both considered to be better fits for a spread-type system.