Just days after saying that he was committed to staying with Oregon, head coach Chip Kelly jumped ship and joined the NFL by signing on as the new head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.
''The challenge is what I was excited about and that's why I came,'' Kelly told a group of reporters upon landing in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
''I was sold on the Eagles the first time I met them, it was my ties to Oregon that made it hard. But the Eagles are the Eagles. This is the NFL.”
The Associated Press chronicles Kelly’s move to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Kelly will be filling the role recently vacated by Andy Reid, who was fired last month after guiding the Eagles to an upsetting 4-12 season.
Despite being fired, Reid leaves behind a tough spot to fill. As coach, he won more games than any coach in franchise history and led the Eagles to nine playoff appearances, six division titles, five conference championship games and one Super Bowl berth.
''My dream is to just win, and with the Eagles, this was the best opportunity for me to win,” said Kelly. “I never thought a long time ago that I was going to be able to coach in the NFL but I'm excited about the opportunity.''
Kelly will be signing on for a team that has an intense diehard fanbase. ''I know it's a rabid fan base,'' Kelly said. ''I hope they don't boo me. It's an exciting time and I'm ready to get to work.''
Kelly is headed for the NFL after leading the Oregon Ducks to a record of 46 and 7 over four years. The former collegiate coach also interviewed with the Cleveland Browns and the Buffalo Bills before deciding on the Eagles.
Kelly’s leading of the Oregon Ducks to a victory over Kansas State at the Fiesta Bowl on January 3rd helped seal the deal that he was ready for the big time NFL.
While Kelly may have seemed destined for the NFL with his stellar record, the process was far from easy. Kelly was believed to have been close to signing with the Buffalo Bills after interviewing them, but ultimately beat out 11 other candidates to sign on with the Eagles.
The Eagles also interviewed two other big-time college coaches - Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly and Penn State’s Bill O’Brien. However, both ended up staying on with their respective universities.
“This is the team Kelly wanted to go to all along,” said FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer of Kelly heading to Philadelphia.
Check out FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer’s report of Kelly headed for Philly here: