Oregon Head Coach Chip Kelly Is Close to Joining an Elite Group of Head Coaches

Andrew McKillopContributor IINovember 22, 2010

Jim Tressel and Chip Kelly talk before the 2010 Rose Bowl.
Jim Tressel and Chip Kelly talk before the 2010 Rose Bowl.Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

When Chip Kelly was hired back in 2009, I’m sure most college football fans didn’t think he would have Oregon atop the polls in just his second season. Oregon still has some work to do before they can claim the national championship, however, Chip Kelly is aiming to become just the fourth head coach in college football history to claim an AP poll national championship in only his second year.

Paul Brown won an AP national championship with Ohio State back in 1942, in only his second season coaching the Buckeyes. His previous head coaching stint was with the Massillon High School Tigers in Canton Ohio. Two Oklahoma Sooners head coaches also won national championships in just their second years of head coaching. Barry Switzer in 1974 and Bob Stoops in 2000 and both were longtime assistants before becoming head coaches.

Jim Tressel won a national championship in his second year of head coaching a major college program, bringing a title to Ohio State in 2001. However, he had previous college head coaching experience at Division FCS Youngstown State.

Brown, Stoops, Switzer and Tressel are the only head coaches to win AP national championships in their second year of heading coaching. Kelly, as well as Auburn’s Gene Chizik, has a chance to join that list this season.