Chip Kelly reportedly interested in leaving UCLA for coordinator job in NFL
Chip Kelly interviewed multiple times for the vacant offensive coordinator position with the Las Vegas Raiders. Now, he is a candidate for the offensive coordinator job with the Washington Commanders, according to multiple reports.
After a strenuous season with UCLA, Kelly is said to have interest in returning to the NFL as a coordinator.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Kelly interviewed with Raiders head coach Antonio Pierce twice. Pierce ultimately went in a different direction. A report from CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones stated that multiple organizations have started “due diligence” on Kelly. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that Washington will “consider talking with him.”
A move at this point in time would put UCLA in a difficult position.
The winter transfer window is closed. Former defensive coordinator D’Anton Lynn was a popular fan favorite as a potential Kelly replacement, but he left the Bruins for a job on Lincoln Riley’s staff at USC.
Reports late in the season suggested Kelly’s job was on the line after an embarrassing home loss to Arizona State. But the Bruins rebounded a week later to throttle USC at the L.A. Coliseum 38-20. They closed out the regular season with a 33-7 loss at home to Cal, but beat Boise State in the LA Bowl to reach eight wins.
If Kelly were to leave for the NFL, he wouldn’t be the first collegiate head coach to flee to the pros for a coordinator gig. Boston College coach Jeff Hafley left on Wednesday to be the defensive coordinator of the Green Bay Packers.
“He wants to go coach football again in a league that is all about football,” a source close to Hafley told ESPN’s Pete Thamel. “College coaching has become fundraising, NIL and recruiting your own team and transfers. There’s no time to coach football anymore.”
Kelly has been outspoken about the recent changes in college football. In December, he said football needed to be separated from other sports and run by a commissioner of sorts.
After a wildly successful run at Oregon, Kelly took over as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013. After back-to-back 10-win seasons, he was fired in 2015 before the final game of the regular season. A month later, Kelly was hired by the San Francisco 49ers. He went 2-14 in his lone season with the Niners and was fired.
Kelly spent part of 2017 working for ESPN as a studio analyst before being hired by the Bruins in November 2017. He has a 35-34 record in six years at UCLA.