Oregon: 'We're ecstatic that Coach Kelly decided to remain in Eugene'
EUGENE, Ore. - Chip Kelly will return next season to coach the Oregon Ducks.
"Obviously we're ecstatic that Coach Kelly decided to remain at the University of Oregon," Rob Mullens, Oregon's athletic director, told reporters Monday. "We've had unprecedented success over the last 4 years, and that's attributed to his innovative style. He's a great leader, and we're thrilled that he's going to remain in Eugene."
Mullens said Kelly called him Sunday night to confirm his plan to return as head coach after winning the Fiesta Bowl.
"I think we have something very special here," said Mullens about Kelly's decision. "It's a great place, we have a very passionate fan base, we have a unique culture.
"I think it's one of the best jobs in football."
For a second straight year, Kelly had been widely reported to be on coaching short lists for the NFL. Last year, Kelly turned down an opportunity to coach the Tampa Bay Bucs. This year, he talked with the Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills.
The Associated Press reported Sunday that two sources confirmed Kelly planned to stay at Oregon.
Fans and players wished Kelly well as stories swirled about his possible departure.
The majority of votes in a poll on KVAL.com favored Kelly sticking with the Ducks.
Musician Mat Kearney, who grew up in Eugene, wrote and recorded a song urging Kelly to stay. He posted a video of the song on YouTube last week.
"Chip Don't Go" has gone viral, with its musing about Kearney's childhood in Eugene when fans prayed for 3-win seasons and how 4 straight BCS bowl appearances had made him a believer in the Ducks.