San Francisco 49ers hire Chip Kelly to be Head Coach

January 14, 2016

The San Francisco 49ers today announced that former Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly has been named the 20th head coach in franchise history.

“I would like to thank Jed, Trent, and the York family for this tremendous opportunity to be the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers,” said Head Coach Chip Kelly. “As one of the most historic franchises in the National Football League, I realize the high standards and expectations that this position demands and I embrace the challenges ahead. My immediate focus is to build the best coaching staff possible, one that will maximize the abilities of each of our players and put us in the best position to win football games.”

Although Kelly is known for his uptempo offensive system, intelligence, and innovative ideas, he recently developed a reputation, whether valid or not, of one who struggles to relate to his players.

Kelly built the Oregon Ducks into a collegiate powerhouse, but has had mixed success at the professional level.  This past offseason Kelly helped push forward several controversial roster moves which ended up backfiring, as the Eagles failed to make the playoffs.

In San Francisco, however, Kelly may finally have the true dual threat quarterback he has always wanted, provided that Colin Kaepernick is not run out of town.  The highly-mobile Kaepernick regressed heavily this past year, and was benched for Blaine Gabbert, but if anyone can get him back on track, it is Kelly and his no-huddle system.

“Chip possesses all the qualities we were looking for in our next head coach,” said General Manager Trent Baalke. “He has demonstrated the ability to be innovative everywhere he has coached and has had great success throughout his career. Chip’s passion for the game and vision for the future of this team clearly stood out to us during the search process. He is an extremely driven individual that I look forward to working with.”

Chip Kelly joins the 49ers with 26 seasons of coaching experience at both the NFL and collegiate levels, including the past three seasons as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. Before joining the Eagles, Kelly served as the head coach at the University of Oregon (2009-12) after spending the previous two seasons as the team’s offensive coordinator (2007-08).

Over the span of Kelly’s three seasons in Philadelphia, the Eagles ranked third in the NFL in points per game (26.9) and total offense (392.8 yards per game), and fourth in rushing yards per game (131.3). The Eagles also recorded the second-most running plays of 10-or-more yards (175) and the fourth-most passing plays of 25-or-more yards (109).

In 2014, Kelly posted his second consecutive 10-6 record as his offense scored 474 points, the most in team history, after setting the franchise record with 442 points the year prior.

In Kelly’s first year as the Eagles head coach in 2013, he led a team that totaled just four wins a year prior to a 10-6 record and an NFC East division title, becoming just the second head coach in league history to win a division title in his first season in the NFL. Philadelphia set a NFL record with 99 plays of 20-or-more yards, while leading the NFL in rushing yards per game (160.4), and ranking fourth in points per game (27.6).

Prior to joining the Eagles organization, Kelly spent 22 seasons at the collegiate level. As head coach of the University of Oregon Ducks (2009-12), he produced a 46-7 (.868) overall record and victories in the Rose Bowl and Fiesta Bowl. In his four seasons in Eugene, the Ducks scored 44.7 points per game while leading the nation in big plays, including 220 pass plays of 25-or-more yards and 110 rushes of 25-or-more yards. Kelly became the first coach in school history to guide the program to three consecutive undisputed conference championships (2009-11) and led the Ducks to their first three 12-win seasons (2010-12). Under his direction, Oregon made an appearance in a BCS Bowl game in each of his four seasons, including a trip to the National Championship game in 2010.

“We are thrilled to announce Chip Kelly as the new head coach of the San Francisco 49ers,” said CEO Jed York. “Chip has a proven track record at both the college and NFL levels that speaks for itself. We believe strongly that he is the right man to get this team back to competing for championships. I look forward to watching Trent and Chip work closely to build a team that will make us all proud.”

By Staff of and news services

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