Former Oregon and NFL head coach Chip Kelly has reportedly declined deals “in the range of $6 million per year,” from Tennessee and Nebraska, sources confirmed to USA Today.
According to the report, Kelly, 54, will decide between Florida and UCLA after receiving offers from both schools, as well as the Vols.
USA Today also reports that the Bruins’ deal with Under Armour could become a disadvantage in landing the former Oregon coach, who still has a close relationship with Nike founder and Oregon donor Phil Knight. However, Kelly’s success in the Pac-12 and familiarity with recruiting on the West Coast, specifically the hot bed of Southern California, could be more enticing than making a transition to the SEC.
Florida officials reportedly met with Kelly in New Hampshire hours after UCLA announced the termination of former head coach Jim Mora Jr. The coach is expected to weigh his options and may also have interest in a potential opening at Arizona State if the program decides to part ways with head coach Todd Graham.
Kelly led Oregon to a 46-7 (33-3 Pac-12) overall record from 2009-2012, which included four BCS bowl game appearances, three Pac-12 conference championships and a BCS title game appearance in 2010.
While his NFL coaching career left much to be desired, there’s no denying that Kelly was one of college football’s best coaches while at Oregon. The Ducks were consistently a national contender with Kelly at the helm, with Kelly’s success and Nike’s on-field presences giving Oregon a unique nationwide popularity.
Both UCLA and Florida are still early in their respective coaching searches and likely won’t announce anything until after the completion of the regular season this weekend. In fact, it was reported by Buddy Martin that Kelly may wait to sign with a team so he could get the rest of his buyout from the San Francisco 49ers.