Chip Kelly is not worried about measuring up to the school across town.
Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, the UCLA football coach said that he did not feel overshadowed by rivals USC and joked about there being few clouds in the sky in Los Angeles, per Greg Beacham of the Associated Press.
UCLA’s Chip Kelly does not feel overshadowed by USC: “In the short time I’ve been in Los Angeles, there aren’t many shadows because there aren’t many clouds in the sky.” pic.twitter.com/bMxgdyBAXo
The three-time Pac-12 champion Kelly, who was just hired by the Bruins in November, has already generated a tremendous amount of excitement with his arrival. But one of his measuring sticks in Westwood will be how he does against USC. The Trojans have defeated UCLA in their last three straight matchups and finished higher in the standings in all three of those years too.
Kelly has enjoyed success against USC in the past though (going 3-1 against them in his four years coaching Oregon), and he definitely sounds like a man who is not concerned about stacking up to his now-crosstown rivals.
Chip Kelly is finally making his return to college football this season, and fans are excited to see him in action. For proof of that, look no further than the way UCLA has been selling tickets since they announced the hiring of Kelly.
“There was incredible excitement once we were able to land Chip,” Guerrero said. “Our ability to land him was reflective in the match that we, UCLA, provided in the things that he values most. Throughout the course of time that he’s been here, we’ve seen incredible excitement from our fan base, and that’s been manifested in their willingness to buy tickets and to be involved in ways that they haven’t before.
“We’ve sold between 2,500 to 3,000 new season tickets (a 700 percent increase from the same time last year). We’re trending toward increasing our ticket base by 20 to 25 percent.”
Interest in the UCLA football program had dwindled in recent years under Jim Mora, and a source told Feldman that 30 percent of the team’s ticket base had disappeared. In addition to increasing ticket sales, Feldman notes that UCLA has also secured multiple new seven-figure financial commitments from boosters since hiring Kelly.
Right around the time when Tennessee went through its debacle with offering Greg Schiano its head coaching job and then rescinding, a report indicated the position had been offered to Chip Kelly. According to the Vols, that never happened — despite what Kelly’s camp wants us to believe.
According to documents obtained by SEC Country through a public records request, former Tennessee athletic director John Currie told UT chancellor Beverly Davenport in a text message that no offer was made to Kelly. USA Today had reported on Nov. 22 that Kelly turned down somewhere in the neighborhood of $6 million per year from Tennessee.
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Currie, in his Nov. 22 text message to Davenport, said the report that Tennessee had made an offer to Kelly “is a complete fabrication planted by his agent [Trace Armstrong] to incite competition w (sic) other schools & drive up his price and perceived desirability.”
Currie cautioned Davenport that “as we head into the weekend the rumors & crazy speculation etc. will pick up as people throw stuff against the wall to see what sticks.”
Of course, the Kelly rumors ended up being the least of Currie’s concerns. His coaching search was a complete embarrassment for Tennessee, highlighted by the hiring of Schiano basically being nixed by public outcry. Despite all that, you could make the argument that Curry got the last laugh.
Kelly, of course, ended up being hired by UCLA. It’s unclear if reports of Tennessee making an offer to him boosted his stock, but it probably didn’t hurt. If that truly was the work of Kelly’s agent, it’s not a terrible strategy.
Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson became very popular among NFL fans this season for his gutsy, high-risk and high-reward playcalling style.
He also showed himself to be very thorough in his preparation, leaving no stone unturned in a bid to help his team be as successful as possible. That even meant going back and watching film of quarterback Nick Foles playing under his predecessor, Chip Kelly.
Before postseason, Pederson went back and watched old Foles film to try to help the QB. Since, mesh/wheel, a staple under Chip Kelly has been a go-to play. Hit on it for the 55-yarder to Clement. Drawing here from the great @Coach_Flinn. Why coaching matters. pic.twitter.com/gznOKQ0g26
Stuff like this is why Pederson was so successful, and why at least one of his players was so aggrieved that he didn’t get more credit for it. The Pederson hire was initially questioned by many, but it’s safe to say Philadelphia got the right guy.
LeSean McCoy has never tried to convince anyone that he got along with Chip Kelly when he played under the former Philadelphia Eagles head coach, but the star running back had a hilarious way of reminding everyone of his thoughts about Kelly on Sunday.
Appearing as a guest analyst on NFL Network, McCoy spoke about Nick Foles and said he has grown fond of Philadelphia again “now that the little short coach is with the kids where he belongs.”
UCLA’s athletic director is not too concerned about Chip Kelly having repeat problems with the NCAA.
While he was at Oregon, Kelly got the Ducks into trouble with the NCAA after it was discovered he paid a middle man disguised as a scouting service for a recruit. The Ducks were placed on probation, had reduced scholarships, and Kelly received an 18-month show cause penalty as a result.
On Monday, Kelly was introduced as UCLA’s head coach after five years away from college football. Bruins AD Dan Guerrero says he’s not concerned about Kelly having NCAA problems.
Dan Guerrero said he spoke to former Oregon players and 2 NCAA enforcement officials while vetting Chip Kelly: "As you know, I hired a coach that previously had a history of NCAA issues and he came here and was a compliance dream, so I don’t anticipate any issues in that regard."
Blaylock is a safety who received scholarship offers from most of the schools in the Pac-12 before deciding on UCLA in May. Imagine his surprise to see his commitment to Jim Mora’s program evolve into one to Kelly’s.
After officially announcing the Kelly hire on Saturday, UCLA held an introductory press conference on Monday. The conference drew a much larger crowd than your ordinary Monday press conference.
Cheerleaders, the Bruin mascot, probably 200 donors/media; a bar and a spread of food.. have seen a bunch of intro press conferences out here in SoCal for new college coaches. Haven't seen a event like this one today at #UCLA for Chip Kelly.