Chip Kelly has been quite the prize these last couple of weeks, as he’s been courted for vacant head coaching positions at Tennessee, Florida, and UCLA. Kelly reportedly turned down Tennessee, and was said to be choosing between Florida and UCLA last week. Word came Thursday that Kelly was suddenly “out of the running” for the job in Florida, leaving just that opening at UCLA, and a happy return to west coast college football. And here we are: ESPN is reporting that Kelly has officially accepted the head coaching job at UCLA, to replace the fired Jim Mora.
Kelly had his best success as a head football coach in the Pac 12, atop a juggernaut Oregon Ducks team he led to two Rose Bowls and a BCS title game in four seasons, before making the jump to the NFL, where he mostly stunk. His early success in Philadelphia was undermined by his own baffling personnel decisions, notably the ill-fated LaSean McCoy and Nick Foles trades, and his time in San Francisco was brief and disastrous, featuring a 13-game losing streak. Kelly is supposed to be an offensive guru, and UCLA can basically sleep through recruiting and wake up with a top-15 incoming class, so he’ll for sure have the horses to run his signature relentless style.