Chip Kelly

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Chip Kelly
Chip Kelly Smile.jpg
San Francisco 49ers
Position: Head coach
Personal information
Date of birth: (1963-11-25) November 25, 1963 (age 55)
Place of birth: Dover, New Hampshire
Career information
High school: Manchester (NH) Central
College: New Hampshire
Career history
As coach:
Head coaching record
Regular season: NFL: 26–21 (.553)
NCAA: 44–5 (.898)
Postseason: NFL: 0–1–0 (.000)
Bowl Games: 2–2 (.500)
Career: NFL: 26–22 (.542)
NCAA: 46–7 (.868)
Coaching stats at PFR

Charles Edward "Chip" Kelly (born November 25, 1963) is an American football coach who is the current head coach of the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL). He is the former head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. Before coaching in the NFL, he was the head coach for the University of Oregon Ducks from 2009 to 2012, leading the program to four consecutive BCS bowl game appearances including the 2011 BCS National Championship Game.

Early life and education

Charles Kelly was born in Dover, New Hampshire. He attended Manchester Central High School[1] and earned his Bachelor of Science in physical education from the University of New Hampshire in 1990.[2] He played quarterback at Manchester Central and defensive back at the University of New Hampshire.[3] Additionally, he played ice hockey and basketball during his high school years.[4]

Coaching career

Early coaching years

He broke into the coaching ranks in 1990 at Columbia University, where he served as secondary and special teams coach for the freshman team. The next year he was outside linebackers and strong safeties coach for the varsity team. In 1992 he went to the University of New Hampshire as the running backs coach. He left to become the defensive coordinator at the Johns Hopkins University for one season. He returned to his alma mater as the running backs coach for the next three seasons (1994–96). He was just in time to devise a zone-blocking scheme for star Jerry Azumah. From 1995 through 1998, the speedy back raised the profile of UNH football as he rushed for what was then an FCS record 6,193 yards.[5] He changed to the offensive line coach for two seasons (1997–98).[2]

Kelly was promoted to offensive coordinator at New Hampshire (1999–2006). The Wildcats' offenses averaged better than 400 yards per game of total offense in seven of his eight seasons[4] and more than 30 points per game in his final four seasons.

In 2004, the school broke 29 offensive school records; compiling 5,446 yards of total offense and scoring 40 or more points in seven games. Their best offensive output was in 2005 when the Wildcats finished second nationally in total offense (493.5 ypg), third in scoring (41.7 ppg) and fifth in passing (300.1 ypg). They completed the season with an 11–2 record.

He was named the College Assistant Coach of the Year by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston following the 2005 season in addition to being selected as “one of college football’s hottest coaches” by American Football Monthly.[6] In 2006, quarterback Ricky Santos won the Walter Payton Award under Kelly's guidance, after Santos finished second in balloting for the award in 2005.[6]

Kelly, along with Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen, former Winnipeg Blue Bombers offensive coordinator Gary Crowton and Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach Ryan Day, are part of the so-called "New Hampshire mafia" as they all have strong connections to New Hampshire.[7]

University of Oregon (2007–2012)

Kelly coached the University of Oregon to BCS games in each of his four seasons as head coach; the 2010 Rose Bowl, 2011 BCS National Championship Game, 2012 Rose Bowl, and 2013 Fiesta Bowl. He coached Oregon to three consecutive outright conference championships from 2009–2011 and a conference division title in 2012. Oregon won its second consecutive BCS bowl game after they defeated #5 Kansas State in the 2013 Fiesta Bowl. What may be considered the most important part of Kelly's résumé at Oregon however is that he posted undefeated records against the Ducks most hated rivals, the Oregon State Beavers and the Washington Huskies, something never before achieved by an Oregon coach.

He was named the 2009 and 2010 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, 2010 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year, 2010 Walter Camp Coach of the Year, 2010 Sporting News Coach of the Year, 2010 AFCA Coach of the Year Award and 2010 Associated Press Coach of the Year.

Offensive coordinator

Kelly was hired as offensive coordinator at Oregon in February 2007.[8] His potent spread offense attack was an instant success at Oregon.

In his first season as offensive coordinator at Oregon, the Ducks led the Pac-10 in scoring (38.15 ppg) and total offense (467.54 ypg), and also became the highest scoring team while amassing the most yards in the history of Oregon football. Prior to Kelly's arrival at Oregon, Dennis Dixon struggled in his first three seasons at quarterback. Under Kelly's guidance, Dixon was the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year and emerged as a Heisman Trophy candidate.[9]

In 2008, the Ducks once again led the Pac-10 in scoring (41.9 ppg) and total offense (484.8 ypg), while breaking the school record marks set the previous season.

Head coach

On March 31, 2009, Oregon announced head coach Mike Bellotti would be promoted to athletic director; consequently, Kelly would be promoted as head coach.[10]

2009 season

Kelly helped the Ducks gain national attention in 2009 after an upset of the then #5 USC Trojans on October 31.[11] Kelly became the first Pac-10 coach to win an outright conference championship in his first season, sending the Ducks to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1995. The Ducks hoped to win their first Rose Bowl since 1917, but were dominated in a loss to Ohio State University. On December 7, 2009 Kelly was named Pac-10 Coach of the year. He was the second Ducks coach to earn the honor, the other being Rich Brooks (two times).[12]

2010 season

Prior to the 2010 season, Kelly suspended Jeremiah Masoli for the season after the quarterback pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary charges, marking the second year in a row that a key player was suspended.[13] Masoli was later dismissed from the team following an arrest for marijuana possession and several driving infractions.[14]

In early October, Kelly led the team to a #1 spot on the AP, Harris, and USA Today Coaches Poll, followed a few weeks later by a #1 BCS ranking.[15][16] With a 37–20 win over the Oregon State Beavers on December 4, 2010, Kelly led the Ducks to a 9–0 finish in conference play, winning their second consecutive outright Pac-10 title. With Darron Thomas at quarterback and Doak Walker Award winner LaMichael James at running back, the Ducks averaged 49.3 points and 537.5 yards per game in the regular season.

In December, following an undefeated 12–0 season and an end-of-season #2 BCS ranking, Oregon was selected to play the #1 Auburn Tigers in the BCS national championship game on January 10, 2011.[17] The Tigers, out of the Southeastern Conference, were coached by Gene Chizik, and had the Heisman Trophy winner at quarterback in Cam Newton. The Ducks lost, 22–19, on a last-second, 19-yard field goal by Wes Byrum.

In recognition of his coaching achievements, Kelly received the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award, the Walter Camp Coach of the Year award and was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year for the second year running.[17][18] Kelly also won the AP Coach of the Year.[19]

2011 season

The 2011 season began with the #3 Ducks facing the #4 LSU Tigers in the Cowboys Classic where they were defeated 40–27. Oregon won their next nine games, including a 53–30 blowout victory at #3 Stanford.

A consecutive trip back to the BCS Championship appeared to be a strong possibility, but they were defeated 38–35 by #18 USC when an Oregon field goal attempt failed as time expired.

The Ducks won their third straight Pac-12 championship title after defeating UCLA in the inaugural Pac-12 Football Championship Game. They represented the Pac-12 in the Rose Bowl and defeated #10 Wisconsin 45–38. It was their second Rose Bowl appearance in three years and their sixth overall. This was Oregon's third consecutive year in a BCS bowl game.

The Ducks finished the season 12–2 (8–1 Pac-12) with a #4 final season ranking.

2012 season

Oregon's all-time leading rusher LaMichael James decided to forgo his senior season in 2012 for the NFL and starting quarterback Darron Thomas, with a career starting record of 23–3, surprisingly also decided to leave early for the NFL.

Led by redshirt freshman Marcus Mariota at quarterback and senior tailback Kenjon Barner, Oregon rolled to ten straight victories before finally falling to #14 Stanford in overtime 17–14 on November 17. Oregon had two opportunities to beat Stanford with a field goal but both attempts failed. Kelly's Ducks would rebound to beat #16 Oregon State in the Civil War for the fifth straight year and play #5 Kansas State in the 2013 Fiesta Bowl. The Ducks proved to be too much for Kansas State as they prevailed to a 35–17 victory in Oregon's fourth consecutive year in a BCS bowl game.

The Ducks finished the season 12–1 (8–1 Pac-12) with a #2 ranking, putting them in the top five of the final season rankings for the third straight season.

NCAA sanctions

On April 16, 2013, the Oregonian reported that the University of Oregon has offered to put its football program on two years probation in response to NCAA violations that allegedly took place during Kelly's tenure as head coach.[20] On June 26, 2013 the NCAA Committee on Infractions issued its report concluding the investigation into Oregon's use of football scouting services. Oregon received 3 years of probation, reduction of scholarships, but no bowl ban. Kelly received an 18-month show-cause penalty, which would make his hiring by another NCAA institution difficult; Kelly had already left the NCAA for the NFL.[21]

NFL interest

New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin tried to hire Kelly as a quality control coach in 2006 when he was still the offensive coordinator at the University of New Hampshire.[22] Kelly turned down the offer and shortly after became the offensive coordinator at the University of Oregon.

In the spring of 2009, Jon Gruden and Kelly spent several days in Tampa, Florida going over theories, progressions, and offensive strategies.[23] In November 2010, Kelly visited Pete Carroll at the Seattle Seahawks practice facility during an Oregon bye week.[24]

In January 2012, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers interviewed Kelly for the head coach position but he declined to take the job because he had "unfinished business to complete" with the Ducks.[25]

During the 2012 offseason, Kelly met with New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick to discuss how he operated the "blur" offense that he ran at Oregon. New England had implemented the hurry up offense as early as 2007.[26] Oregonian columnist John Canzano speculated that Kelly was waiting for the New England Patriots head coaching position to become available.

In early January 2013, numerous NFL teams expressed interest and Kelly was interviewed by the Buffalo Bills,[27] the Cleveland Browns[28] and Philadelphia Eagles.[29] After a seven-hour meeting with the Browns followed by a nine-hour meeting with the Eagles, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Kelly initially decided to remain at Oregon.[30] A week later, Kelly accepted the offer from Philadelphia and became the head coach of the Eagles.[31][32]

Philadelphia Eagles (2013–2015)

Kelly (left) in 2015

Kelly agreed to terms with the Philadelphia Eagles to become the team's head coach on January 16, 2013.[33] Although general manager Howie Roseman ran the team's drafts and free agency signings in his first two seasons with the team, Kelly had the final say over the 53-man roster.[34][35] He was one of three current NFL coaches who had either the title or powers of general manager, along with the New England Patriots' Bill Belichick and the Seattle Seahawks' Pete Carroll.

In his first season, Kelly reversed the Eagles' fortunes of the previous year. Taking over a team that went 4–12 in 2012, Kelly led the Eagles to a 10–6 record and the NFC Eastern Division Championship, becoming just the second head coach in league history to win a division title in his first season in the NFL.[36] They lost in the first round of the playoffs at home to the New Orleans Saints 26–24, on a last-second field goal.

In his second season in Philadelphia, Kelly finished with an identical 10–6 record, despite key injuries to players like quarterback Nick Foles and linebacker DeMeco Ryans. However, unlike the previous season, the Eagles failed to make the playoffs in 2014.

On January 2, 2015, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie announced that Kelly would become head of football operations in name as well as in fact, with Roseman moving to a lesser position in contract negotiations. Soon afterward, Kelly traded All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso (who was a former Oregon Duck under Kelly) and fan-favorite quarterback Nick Foles to the St. Louis Rams for quarterback Sam Bradford on March 10, 2015, though both trades were met with mixed reception from Eagles fans.[37][38] He also signed former Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray.[39]

On December 29, 2015, with a record of 6–9 for the 2015 season, Kelly was fired by the Eagles in a statement made by Lurie.[40][41] It was quickly speculated that he would be a candidate for several NFL head coach openings; on January 7, it was reported that Kelly had met with the San Francisco 49ers about their head coaching position.[42]

San Francisco 49ers (2016–present)

On January 14, 2016, Kelly was hired by the San Francisco 49ers to be their new head coach.[43] He enters the 2016 season as the 49ers' third coach in the past three seasons, following Jim Harbaugh and Jim Tomsula.

Coaching tree

Chip Kelly is a member of the following coaching trees:

Team Served On

Coaching tree:

Personal life

Kelly is reluctant to discuss his life outside of football. He has a small, tight group of friends back home in New Hampshire in the city of Manchester, New Hampshire, who never speak about him to reporters.[44] ESPN blogger Ted Miller describes Kelly as being "funny, biting, pithy, strange, fiery and surprising when talking to reporters."[45]

Kelly gained national acclaim for responding to a season ticket holder's letter demanding a refund for his expenses after traveling to see Oregon's 19–8 loss to Boise State, a loss which ended with Ducks running back LeGarrette Blount responding to a Bronco player's taunts by punching him in the face. Kelly replied to the man with a personal check written out for his travel costs (exactly $439); in response, the fan wrote him a thank-you note enclosing the original check, which he did not cash and made copies to frame.[46]

In 2015 it was revealed in a Washington Post report that Kelly was married to a woman named Jennifer Jenkins during the 1990s. They reportedly divorced after seven years of marriage.[47]


  • 2009 Pac-10 Coach of the Year
  • 2010 Pac-10 Coach of the Year
  • 2010 Associated Press Coach of the Year
  • 2010 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year
  • 2010 Walter Camp Coach of the Year
  • 2010 Sporting News Coach of the Year
  • 2010 AFCA Coach of the Year
  • 2013 Maxwell Club Coach of the Year[48]


Books written on Kelly's philosophy and unorthodox strategies.

  • "The Tao of Chip Kelly: Lessons from America's Most Innovative Coach" by Mark Saltveit (Diversion Publishing, 2013) ISBN 1626812268
  • "Controlled Chaos: Chip Kelly's Football Revolution" by Mark Saltveit (Diversion Publishing, 2015) ISBN 1626818231

Head coaching record


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Oregon Ducks (Pac-10/Pac-12 Conference) (2009–present)
2009 Oregon 10–3 8–1 1st L Rose 11 11
2010 Oregon 12–1 9–0 1st L BCS NCG 3 3
2011 Oregon 12–2 8–1 T–1st (North) W Rose 4 4
2012 Oregon 12–1 8–1 T–1st (North) W Fiesta 2 2
Oregon: 46–7 33–3
Total: 46–7
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
Indicates Bowl Coalition, Bowl Alliance, BCS, or CFP / New Years' Six bowl.
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


Team Year Regular season Post season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
PHI 2013 10 6 0 .625 1st in NFC East 0 1 .000 Lost to New Orleans Saints in NFC Wild Card Game
PHI 2014 10 6 0 .625 2nd in NFC East
PHI 2015 6 9 0 .462 2nd in NFC East
SF 2016 0 0 0 NFC West
Total 26 21 0 .553 0 1 .000


  1. Rob Moseley (July 19, 2009). "A Beautiful Mind: Kelly's innovations led him on the path to Oregon". The Register-Guard. Retrieved October 1, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Chip Kelly Biography". Retrieved August 3, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 Moseley, Rob (19 July 2009). "Kelly's innovations led him on the path to Oregon". The Register Guard. p. C1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 Chip Kelly – – The University of Oregon Official Athletics Web Site
  7. Chow gets the nod over Kelly
  8. Fennell, Jim (15 February 2007). "Kelly rides the Oregon trail". New Hampshire Union Leader. sports; pg. D1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Expanded Heisman Trophy voting results – College football- NBC Sports
  10. "Bellotti steps down as Ducks coach". Sports Illustrated. March 13, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Tenth-ranked Ducks hand Trojans worst loss since '97". October 31, 2009. Retrieved October 31, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Another OSU Awaits". December 5, 2009. Retrieved December 7, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Oregon suspends quarterback Jeremiah Masoli for the 2010 season, Los Angeles Times, March 12, 2010
  14. "Quarterback Masoli dismissed". June 9, 2010. Retrieved December 6, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "2010 NCAA Football Rankings – Week 8". Retrieved October 17, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Oregon vaults over Auburn in BCS, ESPN, October 31, 2010
  17. 17.0 17.1 Moseley, Rob (December 6, 2010). "Oregon football: Chip Kelly receives Robinson Award as coach of the year". The Register-Guard. Retrieved December 6, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "Pac-10 Football Awards and All-Conference Team Announced". December 7, 2010. Retrieved December 7, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Oregon's Chip Kelly voted top coach". Associated Press. 21 December 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Report: Oregon, Chip Kelly appeared before NCAA committee on infractions last Friday". The Oregonian. April 24, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. Battista, Judy (March 20, 2013). "Chip Kelly Could Have Been a Giant". The New York Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. Gruden has high praise for Oregon’s Chip Kelly –
  24. "Oregon Ducks coach Chip Kelly visits with Pete Carroll at Seattle Seahawks practice". The Oregonian. November 17, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. "Chip Kelly turns down Bucs offer". Retrieved January 7, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "Oregon coach Chip Kelly says his influence on New England Patriots offense 'overblown'". The Oregonian. October 14, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. Chip Kelly to interview with Buffalo Bills on Friday – ESPN
  28. Sources – Chip Kelly of Oregon Ducks meets Cleveland Browns, will talk with Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles – ESPN
  29. Garafolo, Mike (January 6, 2013). "Eagles' meeting with Chip Kelly lasts more than nine hours". USA Today.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  30. Chip Kelly turns down Eagles, staying at Oregon |
  31. "Eagles hire Chip Kelly as coach". January 16, 2013. Retrieved January 16, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  32. "Eagles get their man, hire Oregon's Kelly". CNN. January 16, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  34. Berman, Zach. Chip Kelly has final say over 53-man roster. The Philadelphia Inquirer, 2013-8-27.
  35. Grotz, Bob. Chip Kelly says he and Howie Roseman see eye to eye. Delaware County Daily Times, 2013-09-13.
  37. Eckle, Mark. "Eagles make LeSean McCoy trade to Buffalo Bills official". Retrieved 10 March 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  38. Sessler, Marc. "Rams trading Sam Bradford to Eagles for Nick Foles". Retrieved 11 March 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  40. "Eagles Release Head Coach Chip Kelly". December 29, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  41. Rosenthal, Gregg. "Chip Kelly released by Philadelphia Eagles". Retrieved 30 December 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  42. CBS Sports
  43. Gutierrez, Paul (January 14, 2016). "Chip Kelly hired as 49ers coach". Retrieved January 14, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  44. "Goe: Expect the unexpected as long as Chip Kelly stays at Oregon". The Oregonian. January 7, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  45. The wit and wisdom of Chip Kelly – Pac-12 Blog – ESPN
  46. "Kelly replies to invoice with $439 refund". September 23, 2009. Retrieved September 23, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  47. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).

External links