Former Oregon coach Chip Kelly has been named the next head coach at UCLA, agreeing to a five-year contract worth $23.3 million with a $9 million reciprocal buyout, the school announced Saturday. "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.
He began his head coaching career at the University of OR in 2009, leading the Ducks to a 10-3 record and a trip to the Rose Bowl in his first year at the helm. It now appears the decision to back out was Florida's as it had, according to CBS Sports, been going back and forth with Kelly over retaining some of previous coach McElwain's staff, most notably defensive coordinator and interim head coach Randy Shannon.
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"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. He previously had been named AP Coach of the Year at OR in 2010-11, when they lost the BCS Championship game to Auburn, compiling a 46-7 record with the Ducks from 2009-12 before jumping to the NFL. In some ways, passing on Florida to take the UCLA job is jarring on the surface but, in the same breath, the Bruins seemingly fit Kelly's personality a bit better than a partnership in Gainesville would have. Known as an offensive innovator while there, his up-tempo offenses averaged 44.7 points per game during that span.
The decision by Kelly to move away from the Gators potentially clears him to focus attention on the opening at UCLA.
At UCLA, Kelly will look to stop a disturbing trend in Westwood - losses to ranked teams. Mora was midway through his sixth season with the program.
The hire is huge for the program which hasn't won a conference title in about two decades.