Chip Kelly Reportedly Considering Staying at Oregon

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistJanuary 6, 2013

After flirting with the NFL after the Fiesta Bowl this week, Chip Kelly could be on the verge of returning to his current post as head coach at the University of Oregon. 

According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, Kelly is "leaning" towards staying at Oregon instead of taking the head coaching job with the Cleveland Browns or Philadelphia Eagles. 

Chip Kelly appears to be leaning toward returning to #Oregon and not to #Browns or #Eagles, source told PD, but nothing confirmed yet.

— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) January 6, 2013

Peter King of Sports Illustrated is reporting that Kelly's decision will come down to Oregon or Philadelphia. 

Chip Kelly's going to choose between Oregon and the Eagles, I'm told.

— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) January 6, 2013

Considering the recruiting ramifications that will have on the program, not to mention what the Eagles need to do if he decides to pass, a decision will likely need to be made very soon. 

Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported that the Browns are going to start their coaching search over after learning about Kelly's plans.  

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and execs are headed back to Browns. Sources say they will reboot coach search without Chip Kelly in the fold.

— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) January 6, 2013

Kelly was expected to be one of the most sought-after coaching candidates this offseason. He did not start talking to teams officially until after Oregon played Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl last week. 

Instead, Kelly could return to the place where he has become an icon after just four seasons as head coach.

He took over the Oregon program from long-time head coach Mike Bellotti, who was promoted to athletic director, in 2009, leading the Ducks to three Pac-10 championships in his first three seasons and four straight BCS games, including the 2011 BCS Championship Game. 

Oregon is the only FBS program to play in a BCS game every year since 2009. Kelly has compiled a record of 46-7 (33-3 in Pac-10/Pac-12). His innovative offensive system has been unstoppable. The team has averaged at least 46.8 points per game in each of the last three seasons. 

In addition to having as much job security as any coach in college football, Kelly is also familiar with Eugene, Oregon. Before he was named head coach, he spent two seasons as offensive coordinator, where he implemented that high-octane offense we see today.