How important is Chip Kelly to the UO?
EUGENE -- Oregon football coach Chip Kelly, closing in on a deal late Sunday to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has changed his mind and will stay with the Ducks.
"His heart is with college football and Oregon and he's no longer being considered,'' Bucs general manager Mark Dominik told the Tampa Bay Times on Monday morning.
The University of Oregon athletic department announced Monday morning that Kelly was already out recruiting. They said an official statement would be forthcoming.
“I am flattered by the interest of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ organization," Kelly said Monday, in a prepared statement released by UO. "I enjoyed meeting with the Glazer family and general manager Mark Dominik but after numerous discussions, I concluded that I have some unfinished business to complete at the University of Oregon.”
A source close to the situation told KGW Sunday afternoon that Kelly would make the jump to the NFL if he could come to terms on a contract. That revelation was hurriedly confirmed by other news outlets.
The Eugene Register-Guard reported that Kelly changed his mind just before midnight, after having closed the deal earlier.
The statement from the school also included the approval of athletic director Rob Mullins for Kelly interviewing with the Bucs.
“The University of Oregon is one of the nation's preeminent college football programs and, as such, it comes as no surprise the NFL is interested in our personnel," Mullins said, " We are pleased with Coach Kelly’s decision to remain as our head coach."
Kelly has been Oregon's head coach for three years, winning the conference title in all three, reaching three straight BCS games. The crowning achievement came three weeks ago, when the Ducks won their first Rose Bowl game in 95 years.