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San Francisco 49ers Hire Chip Kelly as Head Coach

Posted Jan 14, 2016

Kelly joins the 49ers with 26 seasons of coaching experience at both the NFL and collegiate levels, including the past three seasons as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.

The San Francisco 49ers announced that Chip Kelly has been named the 19th head coach in franchise history.

“We are thrilled to announce Chip Kelly as the new head coach of the San Francisco 49ers,” CEO Jed York said. “Chip has a proven track record at both the college and NFL levels that speaks for itself. We believe strongly that he is the right man to get this team back to competing for championships. I look forward to watching Trent and Chip work closely to build a team that will make us all proud.”

“Chip possesses all the qualities we were looking for in our next head coach,” General Manager Trent Baalke said. “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.” 

“I would like to thank Jed, Trent, and the York family for this tremendous opportunity to be the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers,” Head Coach Chip Kelly said. “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. 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.”

Chip Kelly joins the 49ers with 26 seasons of coaching experience at both the NFL and collegiate levels, including the past three seasons as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. Before joining the Eagles, Kelly served as the head coach at the University of Oregon (2009-12) after spending the previous two seasons as the team’s offensive coordinator (2007-08). Prior to joining Oregon, Kelly was the offensive coordinator at the University of New Hampshire (1999-2006).

Over the span of Kelly’s three seasons in Philadelphia, the Eagles ranked third in the NFL in points per game (26.9) and total offense (392.8 yards per game), and fourth in rushing yards per game (131.3). The Eagles also recorded the second-most running plays of 10-or-more yards (175) and the fourth-most passing plays of 25-or-more yards (109). In 2015, QB Sam Bradford registered a career-high 3,725 passing yards while setting single-season franchise records with 346 completions and a 65.0 completion percentage in 14 games played. Second-year WR Jordan Matthews had 85 receptions which tied for the fourth-most receptions in Eagles single-season history, while leading the team with 997 yards and eight touchdowns. Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox earned AP Second-Team All-Pro honors and was selected to the 2016 Pro Bowl, joining teammates T Jason Peters and RB Darren Sproles in Hawaii.

In 2014, Kelly posted his second consecutive 10-6 record as his offense scored 474 points, the most in team history, after setting the franchise record with 442 points the year prior. Under his guidance, WR Jeremy Maclin returned from injury to post 85 receptions for a career-high 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns, while QB Mark Sanchez set a team record at the time with a 64.1 completion percentage. The Eagles had four players selected Second-Team AP All-Pro, and eight players selected to the Pro Bowl, including RB LeSean McCoy, who finished third in the NFL with 1,319 rushing yards, and LB Connor Barwin, who registered a career-high 14.5 sacks, which was tied for the fourth-most in the NFL.

In Kelly’s first year as the Eagles head coach in 2013, he led a team that totaled just four wins a year prior to a 10-6 record and an NFC East division title, becoming just the second head coach in league history to win a division title in his first season in the NFL. Philadelphia set a NFL record with 99 plays of 20-or-more yards, while leading the NFL in rushing yards per game (160.4), and ranking fourth in points per game (27.6). QB Nick Foles threw for 27 touchdowns and just two interceptions with a passer rating of 119.2, the third-highest quarterback rating in NFL history. McCoy set single-season franchise records and led the NFL in rushing yards (1,607) and yards from scrimmage (2,146), while WR DeSean Jackson recorded career highs with 82 receptions for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns. Five Eagles, including McCoy and Jackson, were selected to the Pro Bowl while three members of the team earned First-Team All-Pro honors: McCoy, G Evan Mathis and T Jason Peters.

Prior to joining the Eagles organization, Kelly spent 22 seasons at the collegiate level. As head coach of the University of Oregon Ducks (2009-12), he produced a 46-7 (.868) overall record and victories in the Rose Bowl and Fiesta Bowl. In his four seasons in Eugene, the Ducks scored 44.7 points per game while leading the nation in big plays, including 220 pass plays of 25-or-more yards and 110 rushes of 25-or-more yards. Kelly became the first coach in school history to guide the program to three consecutive undisputed conference championships (2009-11) and led the Ducks to their first three 12-win seasons (2010-12). Under his direction, Oregon made an appearance in a BCS Bowl game in each of his four seasons, including a trip to the National Championship game in 2010.

In 2012, Kelly guided the Ducks to a 12-1 record, including their third consecutive conference championship and a Fiesta Bowl victory over Kansas State, 35-17. Oregon ranked second in the nation in scoring (49.6 points per game) and fifth in total offense (537.4 yards per game). Freshman QB Marcus Mariota threw 32 touchdowns while RB Kenjon Barner finished sixth in the nation with 1,767 rushing yards. Mariota would go on to win the 2014 Heisman Trophy and become the number two overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Kelly led Oregon to a 12-2 record in 2011, their second straight conference championship and a win in the Rose Bowl over the Wisconsin Badgers, 45-38. The team finished third in the country in points per game (46.1) and fourth in FBS in total offense (522.8 yards per game). The 2010 Ducks finished with a 12-1 record and earned a trip to the BCS Championship game while averaging the most points (47.0 points per game) and total yards (530.7 yards per game) in the FBS. In becoming the Pac-10's first unbeaten regular season champion in five years, Kelly was named Associated Press Coach of the Year, Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year, Walter Camp Coach of the Year and Pac-10 Coach of the Year.

In 2009, Kelly was promoted to head coach at the University of Oregon following two seasons as the team’s offensive coordinator. In his first season as head coach, he led the Ducks to a 10-3 record and a trip to the Rose Bowl, while the offense finished sixth in the country in points per game (36.1) and rushing yards per game (231.7).

As the Ducks offensive coordinator in 2008, Kelly’s 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). The Oregon offense produced two 1,000-yard rushers in RB Jeremiah Johnson and RB LeGarrette Blount, while eclipsing 300-or-more rushing yards in eight of 13 games.

In Kelly’s first season in charge of the Oregon offense in 2007, the Ducks led the Pac-10 in points per game (38.2) despite playing four different quarterbacks in the team’s final four games. In Kelly’s offense, QB Dennis Dixon finished fifth in the Heisman voting with 2,136 passing yards and 20 touchdowns, and RB Jonathan Stewart registered 1,722 rushing yards, the fifth most in college football.

Before his time at Oregon, Kelly spent 13 years at his alma mater, the University of New Hampshire, where he was the team’s offensive coordinator for eight seasons (1999-2006). In 2006, QB Ricky Santos earned the Walter Payton Award as the most outstanding player in FCS. Kelly was promoted to offensive coordinator after working as the running backs coach (1994-96) and offensive line (1997-98).

Born November 25, 1963 in Dover, NH, Kelly played quarterback and defensive back at the University of New Hampshire from 1981-84. Following his playing career, Kelly was an assistant at Columbia University for two seasons (1990-91), coaching on the defensive side of the ball and special teams. In 1992, he returned to New Hampshire to become the running backs coach before spending the 1993 season as the defensive coordinator at Johns Hopkins University.

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