After four seasons in the National Football League with the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers, the former Oregon Ducks head coach is finalizing a deal to become the new head coach of the UCLA Bruins, reports Yahoo! The deal comes with a $9 million reciprocal buyout.
The addition of Kelly will bolster a UCLA squad that also played itself into bowl eligibility Friday after beating UC Berkeley, 30-27, with offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch helming the team as interim head coach.
UCLA had been looking for a new head coach since Jim Mora was sacked November 19, a day after a third straight loss to USC.
The Florida Gators are getting out of the Chip Kelly sweepstakes, according to a report from Yahoo Sports. Kelly was named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year in back-to-back seasons in 2009 and 2010, and Associated Press Coach of the Year in 2010. Kelly finished with a 46-7 record at Oregon. 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. OR made an appearance in a BCS Bowl game in each of Kelly's four seasons, including a trip to the National Championship game following the 2010 season.
But that tenure was not without controversy as the NCAA Committee on Infractions handed down penalties to the program in 2013 because of recruiting violations, including three years of probation and an 18-month show-cause penalty for Kelly.
With Kelly formally, officially out of the picture, UF is expected to pursue UCF coach Scott Frost. Mora was midway through his sixth season with the program. The former Oregon Ducks coach now is an analyst with ESPN.