Report: UCLA could move on from Chip Kelly, target Urban Meyer
The UCLA Bruins could make major changes to the football program this offseason, and maybe even target some big names.
According to Scott Roussel of Football Scoop, Chip Kelly’s job is not guaranteed for 2021. New UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond, who took the job over in May, will assess all aspects of the football program, including Kelly’s position. Kelly would be due a $9 million buyout if the Bruins chose to move on from him.
If Kelly is fired, UCLA would reportedly target Urban Meyer or Chris Petersen to replace him. Jarmond has close ties to Meyer in particular, with Jarmond serving as the lead administrator for the Ohio State football program during Meyer’s time there. The two are said to be “genuine friends,” which could lead UCLA to believe they could actually lure Meyer.
Petersen, the former Washington coach, would be another candidate. Jarmond reportedly discussed the Boston College opening with Petersen when Jarmond was filling that position last winter, though the job ultimately went to Ohio State defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley.
Jarmond responded to the report on Twitter, saying there was no truth to the rumors.
— Martin Jarmond (@MartinJarmond) December 17, 2020
Kelly has ultimately been a disappointment at UCLA, having gone just 10-20 over three seasons. Touted by some as a coup when hired, Kelly has failed to impress the fanbase and has left the door open for a possible change.
UCLA aiming big like this is bound to excite fans and boosters, but it’s hard to see this becoming a reality. However strong the friendship is between Jarmond and Meyer, it’s tough to see the former Ohio State coach taking the UCLA position when he turned down this even bigger job already. Jarmond has every right to do his due diligence, but he may well find that UCLA simply won’t be able to do better than Kelly at this point.