Oregon head coach Chip Kelly is close to becoming the next Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach, according to a report.
KGW Sports, a Portland-area television station, reported on Sunday that Kelly was working to finalize a deal that would make him head coach of the Tampa Bay Bucs.
KGW Sports' Michael Berk later tweeted out that Kelly, a two-time Pac 10 Coach of the Year, will make the jump if he can come to terms on a contact. The Register-Guard's Oregon beat writer Adam Jude also tweeted out that he had been hearing all day about the Chip Kelly-to-Tampa Bay rumors.
Kelly leaving Pac-10 power for Tampa Bay comes as a surprise to many in the sports world. Kelly has helped guide Oregon to the BCS Championship game and has indicated in the past that he is quite content with his cozy job in Eugene.
The Buccaneers fired coach Raheem Morris on Jan. 2nd after losing 10 straight games to end the season. The organization has stayed relatively quiet on its coaching search, though it did interview former Green Bay offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, who ultimately took the Miami Dolphins job.
Kelly would likely bring his high-powered, spread offense to Tampa Bay, which could provide a boon to quarterback Josh Freeman. The former Kansas State standout regressed in his third year in the NFL - one of the reasons why Morris was let go.
Tampa Bay Times' Rick Stroud reported on Twitter that Kelly met with general manager Mark Dominik last week and that they are headed down a path that they mutually hope will result in an agreement in the next 24-48 hours. ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter confirmed the initial report that Kelly and the Bucs were in active contract negotiations.
Kelly has been with Oregon since 2007.