Well this came out of nowhere... After spurning the team about a week ago and announcing he would return to college, Oregon Ducks coach Chip Kelly has reportedly had a change of heart and accepted the head coaching job with the Philadelphia Eagles. The news was confirmed by the team just moments ago.
“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.”
So after an exhaustive search that seemed to begin with Chip Kelly as the Eagles #1 target, he ends up being the guy after all. The two sides held a much publicized 9 hour meeting in Arizona after Oregon's big victory over Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl. Clearly a relationship was built there and set the groundwork for his eventual move to Philadelphia.
Kelly compiled a 46-7 record over 4 years as head coach of Oregon and has built the Ducks into a national powerhouse. He's never finished out of first place in the Pac-10/12 and has wins in the Rose and Fiesta bowls during that time. His teams haven't finished the season ranked out of the top 5 since 2009.
Kelly is of course known for his innovative, high tempo offense that has lit up college football and has already begun to influence the NFL with teams like the Patriots. During his time in Eugene, the Ducks have averaged an astounding 44.7 points per game. Can he adapt his schemes to the NFL? This is one of the many questions that will be answered in the coming years.
For now, the good news is that the search is over. The Eagles have their coach and after all the twists and turns in this search, they ended up getting their man.