Senior College Football Columnist

Ducks 'ecstatic' about retaining Chip Kelly

Turns out, a great week for Oregon has gotten much, much better.

On Thursday night, the Ducks thrashed Kansas State, 35-17 in the Fiesta Bowl, and then on Sunday night, despite a lot of wild speculation, learned that Chip Kelly -- the program's cutting edge coach -- is not leaving for an NFL job.

“We are ecstatic about retaining Chip Kelly as our football coach,” Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens told CBSSports.com Monday afternoon via the phone. “His innovative leadership has created a high-performance culture, which has delivered unprecedented success for Oregon football over the past four years. He is the best coach in football and we are excited about our future under his direction.”

Contract considerations also were not part of the discussion between the coach and Oregon this weekend, Mullens said.

Kelly's record in four seasons at Oregon is a jaw-dropping 46-7 and has included a trip to a BCS bowl in every year he's been the Ducks head coach. His teams have ranked in the top three in scoring the past three seasons.

Kelly had addressed the media after the Ducks' Fiesta Bowl win Thursday night and was very direct, saying, "I'll listen and we'll see." But then once the interview process began, the speculation turned into a feeding frenzy. Over the weekend, it was reported that Kelly would be leaving Oregon for one of a trio of NFL head coaching vacancies, making it sound like his departure was a mere formality.

The Ducks' figure to be preseason Top 5 team with legit hopes of making a BCS title run. And with Kelly back to run the show, their chances seem even better.


Bruce Feldman is a senior writer for CBSSports.com and college football commentator for CBS Sports Network. He is a New York Times Bestselling author, who has written books including Swing Your Sword, Meat Market and Cane Mutiny. Prior to joining CBS, Feldman spent 17 years at ESPN.
 
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