Oregon coach Chip Kelly has decided to remain a college coach after coming extremely close to accepting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offer to become a NFL head coach.
The Register-Guard reported early Monday morning that Kelly to Tampa Bay was a done deal, but the innovative offensive guru changed his mind and decided to stay in Eugene. He had been intrigued by the prospects of coaching in the NFL and not having to deal with NCAA oversights, according to ESPN, but ultimately decided that college football is where he belonged.
His heart is with college football and Oregon and he's no longer being considered,'' Mark Dominik told the Tampa Bay Times.
News that Kelly was strongly considering accepting a NFL coaching job came as a big surprise to many that cover college football. He has guided Oregon to two BCS bowls, including a BCS Championship loss to Auburn in 2010, and has been named Pac-10 Coach of the Year twice.
Kelly's success has come from his no-huddle, spread offense that utilizes all of the speed that Oregon has within its depth chart. He is one of the highest paid coaching in college football -- making more than $2.8 million per year -- and has the financial backing of Nike founder Phil Knight. He had apparently been extremely close to finalizing a deal with the organization, but might have been financially swayed by Knight to return to Oregon.
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.
The Bucs had secretly interviewed Kelly as their top choice leading many to question who might be left on their prospective wish list. ESPN reported that the organization is also currently looking at: Brad Childress; Marty Schottenheimer; Mike Sherman; Rob Chudzinski; Jerry Gray; Mike Zimmer; and Tom Clements.
The organization is apparently interested in hiring an older coach, as evident by the age of some of the top candidates, as a way to move past the failings of Morris, who was the league's youngest head coach and appeared immature when the season turned sour.