ESPN is reporting that Oregon coach, Chip Kelly, will leave the Ducks to coach the Philadelphia Eagles next season. The Eagles have been looking to fill the Andy Reid sized whole since the end of the Eagles season in December.
Kelly’s departure will no doubt send shockwaves through Oregon’s athletic department and NCAA football in general. For the past few seasons, the Ducks have been a dominant college gridiron force under Kelly known for their explosive high energy spread offense. Last season the Ducks marched to an 11-1 season that culminated in a 35-17 win over Kansas State in the Fiesta bowl.
On the reverse side of this deal, The Eagles were a struggling team under Andy Reid (who was let go after this past season). Two seasons ago the Eagles were pre-season Superbowl favorites, with most analysts saying that it was really a battle for second place behind Philly. They sported an impressive offense led by a fresh-outta-prison Michael Vick, a formidable defense with a newly signed Nnamdi Asomugha and a pro-bowl running back named LeSean McCoy. Despite these tools the Eagles failed to make playoffs in 2011 and seemed to get worse in the 2012 season. But with Andy Reid out of the picture and Michael Vick likely following Reid’s lead, The Philly faithful are hopeful that Kelly can turn the Eagles back around.
Chip Kelly’s name was mentioned early and often during the Eagles’ quest for a new coach. Word came out last week that Kelly rejected Philly’s first offer and rumor was that he was opting to stay in Oregon for the next season. There is still no word on how much Philly will be shelling out for Kelly. Other names that came up during Philly’s search included Lovie Smith, Ken Whisenhut and Gus Bradley.
A sad day for Oregon indeed.