Chip Kelly Rumors: UCLA Targeting Former Oregon HC After Firing Jim Mora

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 19, 2017

SANTA CLARA, CA - DECEMBER 11:  Head coach Chip Kelly of the San Francisco 49ers looks on from the sidelines against the New York Jets during the second quarter of their NFL football game at Levi's Stadium on December 11, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

UCLA is reportedly pursuing former University of Oregon and NFL head coach Chip Kelly to replace Jim Mora, who was fired Sunday afternoon.

Tracy Pierson of 247Sports reported Kelly's agent, David Dunn, was flying to Los Angeles to discuss the job with Bruins athletics director Dan Guerrero and senior associate AD Josh Rebholz.

The 53-year-old New Hampshire native spent two decades as an assistant coach for various programs before he got his first chance as a head coach with the Ducks in 2009.

He enjoyed immediate success, leading Oregon to a 10-3 record and Rose Bowl appearance in his debut campaign. The Ducks finished no worse than 12-2 over the next three years and ranked in the Top Five at the end of each of those seasons.

In all, Kelly led Oregon to a 46-7 mark in four years at the helm before he made the jump to the NFL.

His time with the Philadelphia Eagles featured similar promise at the start, with back-to-back 10-6 campaigns. He was fired late in the 2015 season after the team fell to 6-9, however, and then he lasted just one year with the San Francisco 49ers, going 2-14 in 2016.

Kelly, who's also been linked to the vacant Florida head coaching job, said during an appearance Saturday on SportsCenter he's content with his work as an ESPN analyst.

"I really enjoy what I'm doing now," he said. "I think Florida is an outstanding program and has had so much success there with Urban [Meyer], Steve Spurrier. I think whoever gets that job would be really lucky."

Hiring an offensive guru like Kelly would be a move in a different direction for UCLA after six seasons under Mora, a coach with a defensive background. It would also give the program instant star power, a factor that could help attract more top recruits to the bright lights of Los Angeles.

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