The San Francisco 49ers ended their job search for head coach with the hire of former Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly.
Kelly replaces the one-season failure of Jim Tomsula as head coach who engineered the Niners to a dismal 5-11 record.
The 52-year-old Kelly spent the last three years with the Eagles before being fired after a disappointing 6-9 record. Kelly started his Eagles tenure in 2012 with a flourish bringing a team with a paltry 4-12 record the prior year to a 10-6 season and an NFC East division title.
Kelly became the first head coach in the Eagles’ long history to win a division title in his first season in the NFL and only the second in the league’s history.
“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,” the veteran coach said in a statement. “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.”
According to ESPN, “after a thorough search” 49ers CEO Jed York and general manager Trent Baalke will introduce Kelly in a news conference next week.
“Chip possesses all the qualities we were looking for in our next head coach,” the general manager asserted. “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.”
In the early ’80s Kelly played quarterback and defensive back at the University of New Hampshire. Later he enjoyed 13 years at his alma mater, eight of which he served as the team’s offensive coordinator (1999-2006). Ultimately his offensive leadership skills landed him at the University of Oregon, where he helped establish the Ducks program as one of the greatest college football offensive machines in the country.
In Kelly’s 2007 debut season, Oregon led the Pac-10 with 38.2 points per game, reports the 49ers official website. The following year his offense led the Pac-10 in rushing yards (280.1 per game), points per game (41.9),and total offense (484.9 yards per game).
In 2011, Kelly’s Ducks went 12-2, won their second straight conference championship, and the Rose Bowl beating the Wisconsin Badgers, 45-38.