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#pounditFriday, February 23, 2024

Chip Kelly in imminent danger of being fired by UCLA?

Chip Kelly in a headset

Sep 10, 2022; Pasadena, California, USA; UCLA Bruins head coach Chip Kelly watches from the sidelines in the second half against the Alabama State Hornets at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA may not even wait until the end of the season to pull the plug on the Chip Kelly era.

Tracy Pierson of 247 Sports reported Tuesday that the Bruins are likely to fire their head coach Kelly, possibly even as soon as this weekend’s rivalry game against USC is over. Pierson notes that recent bad losses by UCLA to Arizona and Arizona St. in back-to-back weeks have accelerated the school’s intention to make a head coaching change. Kelly has also reportedly lost the support of donors, especially with regard to NIL donations, and a number of current UCLA players are said to be “disgruntled.”

The former AP College Football Coach of the Year Kelly got hired by UCLA before the 2018 season and was given a long runway to succeed. But Kelly finished under .500 in all of his first three years in charge, and promising campaigns in 2021 and 2022 were derailed by a number of brutal upset losses to unranked opponents. UCLA is now 6-4 this season (despite a very easy schedule), bringing Kelly’s overall record in Westwood to just 33-33.

The Bruins have also faced several other issues under Kelly’s leadership. Attendance at the Rose Bowl has been consistently poor throughout Kelly’s tenure, Kelly’s unusual approaches both on and off the field are often questioned, and there is a general lack of excitement surrounding the program as they progress towards their move to the Big Ten in 2024.

For Kelly, who has yet to win a bowl game or a post a 10-win season during his six years in charge, a firing from UCLA has been rumored for years now. Now it sounds like the Bruins’ disappointing 2023 campaign will be the final nail in the coffin for Kelly’s job.

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