UCLA finalizes deal with Chip Kelly

Yahoo Sports
Chip Kelly is heading back to college football, this time as head coach of UCLA. (AP)
Chip Kelly is heading back to college football, this time as head coach of UCLA. (AP)

UCLA has finalized a deal to make Chip Kelly its next coach. The school announced the deal Saturday morning, after Yahoo Sports first reported on the hiring.

Kelly is best known as an offensive innovator who went 46-7 in four years as the head coach at Oregon. He led the Ducks to the national title game and ushered the era of the high-tempo spread offense into college football.

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After four years in the NFL – three as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, one with the San Francisco 49ers – Kelly spent the past year working as an ESPN analyst. He also spent considerable time pursuing the Florida job, as he spoke with Florida officials twice in the past month.

UCLA fired coach Jim Mora last week as an overt attempt to lure Kelly to Westwood. The aggressive tactic worked, as sources said the appeal of living in Los Angeles, coaching in the Pac-12 and being able to blend in were key motives for picking the Bruins.

The hire by UCLA shows an increased commitment to football. The school just opened a new $65 million football facility, The Wasserman Football Center, that puts its facilities alongside any in the country.

Kelly immediately becomes the most accomplished coach in the Pac-12 South, as the move shows the Bruins are committed to competing with rival USC.

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