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Chip Kelly Backs Out of Buccaneers Job, Says His ‘Heart is with College Football’

In an announcement that should surprise absolutely no one, Chip Kelly has decided to stay at the University of Oregon. On Sunday night, reports surfaced that Kelly and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were finalizing a deal for him to become their next head coach. We were skeptical about why Kelly would make the jump merely a week before National Signing Day and fresh off a Rose Bowl victory, and apparently for good reason. According to the Register-Guard, Kelly told a source, “I’m staying” just before midnight on Sunday.

“His heart is with college football and Oregon and he’s no longer being considered,” Bucs general manager Mark Dominik said according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Money was obviously not the issue here, as Kelly signed a six-year extension worth $20.5 million with Oregon in 2010. Our suspicion was that he might have been on the verge of pulling a Pete Carrol and leaving before the program was sanctioned by the NCAA. Either Kelly is willing to deal with the Willie Lyles scouting services situation or he’s been given reason to believe it will not be an issue.

In any event, the Bucs will have to continue their head coaching search and Kelly has some holes to full with his offense.  LaMichael James and Darron Thomas have already announced their decisions to turn pro, so Chip will have to find a new quarterback and a new running back to grasp his high-tempo spread offense.  I’m sure the Ducks are glad to have him back.


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  • Gene

    My bet is that Uncle Phil (Knight) sweetened the pot quite a bit.

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    That may have happened. I’m guessing Chip realized he’s a college coach, not a pro one.