Several reports have surfaced recently that say UCLA head coach Chip Kelly is in trouble. That’s the biggest shocker of this crazy season so far.
Kelly has made progress following a 9-4 season with a 6-4 record to date. Somehow, the Bruins have kind of morphed into a defense-dominant program, which is unexpected but necessary as the Bruins will be entering Big Ten play next year.
The problem is that Kelly was hired for his offensive prowess and that is where his team has dipped this year.
Chip Kelly in imminent danger of being fired by UCLA? https://t.co/YxJaSJQmnR— College Football (@CollegeFootball) November 15, 2023
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The Bruins have a 6-4 record, including 3-4 in the Pac-12. They were ranked as high as 18th this season and were 19th after beating Colorado to improve to 6-2.
But, UCLA lost to Arizona and Arizona State in the two games since then.
So, hypothetically speaking, if Chip Kelly were to be fired after this weekend game versus USC, and were to kick the tires on a coordinator job, say in Happy Valley, here’s the offensive resume that he would bring with him.
Why Chip Kelly Would be Smart Hire for James Franklin, Penn State Football
Kelly was a quarterback in high school and a defensive back in college but his ascension into offensive guru-ship began when he became offensive coordinator at the University of New Hampshire, his alma mater, from 1999-2006.
Kelly’s Wildcats amassed over 400 yards of total offense in seven of his eight seasons there.
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.
Kelly was hired as offensive coordinator at Oregon in February 2007. His potent spread offense attack was an instant success at Oregon. In his first season as OC in Eugene, 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.
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.
Kelly was promoted to head coach of the Ducks in 2009 when Mke Bellotti got bumped up to Athletic Director.
In 2010, the Ducks averaged 49.3 points and 537.5 yards per game in the regular season. Kelly’s boys went on to a 12-0 sesson and were just a Cam Newton away from winning the BCS National Championship that year.
Kelly was named AP Coach of the year following that season.
He made the jump to the NFL in 2013 but despite back to back 10 win seasons he was fired late in his third year as Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie had seen enough.
From there, Kelly became the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers in 2016 but was also shown the door after a disastrous 14-2 record.
He was hired by UCLA in 2018 and has been a disappointment there amassing and underwhelming 500 record at 33-33.
The things that jump off the page on Kelly’s resume is that he commanded four of the most storied programs in football history – Oregon, UCLA, the Eagles and the 49ers. Unfortunately his stock has sort of gone down ever since he left Eugene. His head coaching record while at Oregon was 46-7, in Philadelphia he left with a 26-21 record. He was a miserable 2-14 in San Francisco and an even 33-33 in six years in LA.
Could he improve Penn State’s offense significantly? Yes, and he’s especially good with quarterbacks which would allow Drew Allar to flourish unlike what we’ve seen in some recent big games by the big fella under the guise of recently fired offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich.
But, Kelly has an ego the size of Alaska and has a history of fascilitating an unhealthy culture in some of his previous stops, namely Philly.
Although his prickly arrogance has seemed to calm down a bit since leaving Philadelphia. Being humbled publicly with do that.
Why Chip Kelly to Penn State Football Doesn’t Make Any Sense
I’m not sure he’d want to take a step back to a coordinator position, unless there were hopes of taking over the program at some point.
Franklin is also in a bit of a precarious position as he needs a highly decorated OC to get his team past the 10 win mark, a mark the program has had trouble surpassing during Franklin’s tenure.
The question is whether Franklin can deal with a somewhat big name coordinator nipping at his heels. Not sure it would be a good idea for Franklin to let his ego get in the way.
The next offensive coordinator he hires will be his sixth in his 10-year tenure at Penn State.