Florida coaching search: What you need to know about Chip Kelly


As the Florida Gators search for their next football coach, SEC Country will take a closer look at the top candidates for the job. 

As far as high-profile hires go, Chip Kelly would be up there.

He has more than 25 years of coaching experience overall and led the Oregon football program on one of its most successful runs in program history before making the move to the NFL.

Here’s what you need to know about Chip Kelly:

Chip Kelly’s coaching resume

Kelly has been in the coaching circles since 1990, but bursted onto the scene once he began his tenure at Oregon in 2007. After two years as the Ducks’ offensive coordinator, he was promoted to head coach in 2009, a role he held for four seasons. In that time, Oregon won the Pac-12 three times and played in the 2011 BCS National Championship Game.

Kelly made the jump to the NFL after the 2012 season, coaching the Philadelphia Eagles from 2013-2015 and then the San Francisco 49ers in 2016.

Offensive development

If looking solely for an offensive guru, all other aspects removed, Kelly is the guy.

Just look at the numbers during his tenure at Oregon:

Year Points/game (national rank) Yards/game (national rank)
2007 38.15 (12th) 467.54 (10th)
2008 41.92 (7th) 484.85 (7th)
2009 36.08 (8th) 412.00 (33rd)
2010 47.00 (1st) 530.69 (1st)
2011 46.07 (3rd) 522.79 (4th)
2012 49.54 (2nd) 537.38 (5th)

In summary, he never averaged less than 36 points or 412 yards per game in any of his six seasons. Florida hasn’t had a season close to those numbers offensively since 2009 (35.9 points and 457.9 yards per game).

Quarterback development

During his tenure at Oregon, Kelly found success with a quartet of quarterbacks.

First, it was Dennis Dixon in 2007, who threw for 2,136 yards, 20 touchdowns and 4 interceptions in 10 games before suffering a torn ACL.

Then it was Jeremiah Masoli. He became the starter midway through the 2008 season and held the job through the 2009 season. He threw for 3,891 yards, 28 touchdowns and 11 interceptions during his time at Oregon before transferring to Ole Miss for his senior season.

After that it was Darron Thomas, who threw for 5,624 yards, 63 touchdowns and 16 interceptions in the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

Finally, in 2012, he had a freshman named Marcus Mariota emerge on the scene, throwing for 2,677 yards, 32 touchdowns and just 6 interceptions. Mariota also ran for 752 yards and 5 touchdowns in the first season of what became an illustrious college football career that continued after Kelly moved on to an NFL coaching career.

Does he want to go back to college?

After two NFL head-coaching stints and a year off from coaching overall, the question remains whether Kelly wants to return to the college football scene or see if he can get another chance to prove himself in the NFL.

He commented back in 2013 and 2014 about how much easier the schedule of an NFL coach is compared to a college coach, along with the fact that recruiting isn’t a factor at the NFL level.

There’s also the show-cause penalty Kelly was handed by the NCAA back in 2014. CBSSports’ Dennis Dodd recounted last month that Kelly was hit with “failure to monitor” after Oregon was accused of paying a 7-on-7 coach $25,000 in exchange for exerting influence in recruiting.

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The post Florida coaching search: What you need to know about Chip Kelly appeared first on SEC Country.

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