ESPN’s Chris Mortensen is reporting that University of Oregon’s head coach Chip Kelly will be the next coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. There have been several rumors over the last few weeks that Kelly would indeed leave the University of Oregon to find work in the NFL. Those rumors intensified once Oregon finished second in the final polls after blowing out Kansas State in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
Kelly leaves a mini-dynasty at Oregon. One which includes three PAC-12 championships, a Fiesta Bowl and Rose Bowl victory in addition to an appearance in the 2011 BCS National Championship game where his Ducks lost to the Cam Newton led Auburn Tigers. During his tenure at Oregon, Kelly won several “Coach of the Year” awards while creating one of the most prolific college football offenses in recent memory.
The move makes sense for Kelly who is still relatively young (age 49) and has achieved rapid success in his brief stint as a college head coach. In just four years Kelly posted a 46-7 record at Oregon and it makes sense that he would welcome the challenge of coaching at the next level.
A challenge appears to be the right word for Kelly’s next job. He will look to apply some offensive genius to a talented, underachieving Eagles team. The Eagles hoped to bounce back from a disappointing 2011 in which they finished 8-8. But previous coach Andy Reid led Philly to a dismal 4-12 record during a disastrous 2012 season that resulted in Reid getting the boot the day after the Eagles final game.
There will be some interesting decisions Kelly has to make right off the bat–none more glaring than who will play QB for the Eagles next year. While the impatient fan base will have high expectations of Kelly, perhaps no one on the coaching market is more poised to meet those expectations.