Chip Kelly returned back to Oregon today. Kelly brought prowess to the Oregon Ducks program. He made them relevant, he made them contenders. The return to Eugene had Kelly feeling sentimental about the team he took to the National Championship game twice.
“Obviously, it’s a special place and it has a special part in my heart,” Kelly said via 247 Sports. “There’s so many great people I was fortunate to meet because of my experience at Oregon and I’ll always treasure that.”
What did Kelly miss from his Oregon days? Well, the Duck mascot for one.
“I don’t even think we’re going to have The Duck. And that’s always depressing because he’s always fun to see.”
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Ever since Chip Kelly left Oregon, they have gone in completely separate and polarizing directions. For Oregon, they’ve continued to grow and build on what they had during the Kelly era. For Chip, it hasn’t been the same story.
Chip Kelly was a coveted coach for any team when he left Oregon. He decided to try his hand in the NFL. His up-tempo offense was clearly where the league was going, and he was one of the best in the business with that type of system. At least it seemed.
Kelly went to the Eagles for three years, and then the 49ers for just one season. In his four NFL seasons, Chip Kelly accumulated a record of 28-35. After failing in the NFL, Kelly has gone back to college, and back to the Pac-12. The conference the Oregon Ducks still dominate.
It is now Kelly’s third season as head coach of the UCLA Bruins, and he has gone 3-9, 4-8 respectively. The Bruins showed some promise in their game against Oregon today, but came up short in the final moments. UCLA fell 35-38, and dropped it 1-2 on the season. Call it a microcosm Chip Kelly’s career after Oregon…coming up short.
Who knows how much longer UCLA will give Chip Kelly to prove himself. Things haven’t gone well, and there isn’t much reason for optimism. Meanwhile, Oregon is thriving.