Chip Kelly return to UCLA in question for key reason
Chip Kelly has one year remaining on his contract at UCLA, and the two sides have yet to agree on an extension. The longer that goes on, the more questions it will raise about his future with the Bruins.
Kelly and UCLA have been in negotiations for several weeks, but no deal has been reached. One key factor is also looming in contract talks: on Jan. 16, Kelly’s $9 million buyout will drop to zero. In other words, if no contract extension is agreed upon by then, UCLA could fire Kelly at no cost.
While Kelly’s long-term future is in limbo, this also raises questions about his status for 2022. The expectation remains that Kelly will be UCLA’s head coach next season, according to Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News, but “by no means” is it guaranteed.
Oregon had some interest in bringing Kelly back, but ultimately hired Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning instead. Once that fell through, it appeared quite obvious that Kelly would simply stay with UCLA. That still seems likely, but the lack of a long-term deal will leave the situation hazy as long as that remains the status quo.
The 58-year-old Kelly is coming off an 8-4 season, his best mark since taking over the Bruins. He is 18-25 overall in four seasons.
Photo: Jul 24, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins coach Chip Kelly during Pac-12 football media day at Hollywood & Highland. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports