In vacillating teaching panorama, UCLA’s Chip Kelly stays put with contract extension


UCLA coach Chip Kelly yells instructions to one of his players from the sideline during a game against Fresno State

UCLA signed coach Chip Kelly to a contract extension regardless of a four-year document of 18-25. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Related Press)

Two days earlier than it might have been off the hook for Chip Kelly‘s $9-million buyout, UCLA is latching on extra firmly to its soccer coach.

The Bruins have agreed to present Kelly a four-year extension on the contract that was set to run out after subsequent season, offering him an opportunity to proceed the upward trajectory that culminated in UCLA’s greatest season in six years.

The transfer additionally served as a de facto vote of confidence from athletic director Martin Jarmond that Kelly can maintain tempo with the teaching upgrades made elsewhere within the Pac-12 Convention.

Kelly’s $9-million buyout would have expired Sunday, that means UCLA might have fired him with out paying that quantity. Conversely, Kelly might have taken one other job on that date with out his new employer having to pay the buyout to UCLA.

Earlier than recommitting to the Bruins, Kelly, 58, entertained overtures from the college that made him well-known. Intrigued by the opportunity of Chip Kelly 2.0, Oregon probed his curiosity in returning to the place the place he went 46-7 from 2009-12 earlier than hiring Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning.

Kelly stayed put in hopes of recapturing his glory years … in Westwood. His Bruins (8-4 total, 6-3 Pac-12 Convention) closed the season with three consecutive wins, together with a historic beatdown of rival USC during which they scored a document 62 factors, earlier than withdrawing from the Vacation Bowl due to COVID-19 points. The successful streak matched Kelly’s greatest stretch at UCLA after he additionally gained three consecutive video games in the course of the center of the 2019 season.

Nobody is evaluating Kelly’s tenure to these of Terry Donahue, Purple Sanders and even Jim Mora. His 18-25 document is the worst for any coach who lasted 4 seasons on the college, edging the inglorious 21-29 mark Rick Neuheisel compiled from 2008-11. The Bruins even have by no means critically contended for a Pac-12 South title beneath Kelly, ending tied for second place with Arizona State this season after basically being eradicated from rivalry earlier than Halloween.

Kelly’s detractors are fast to level out that his workforce didn’t beat an opponent with a successful document in 2021 and has carried out so simply twice in 4 seasons.

Nonetheless, nobody has to squint to see progress. Kelly’s document has improved in every season, from 3-9 in 2018 to 4-8 in 2019 to 3-4 in 2020 to 8-4 in 2021.

UCLA coach Chip Kelly stands next to quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson during a game against Fresno State.

UCLA coach Chip Kelly stands subsequent to quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson throughout a sport towards Fresno State on Sept. 18 on the Rose Bowl. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Related Press)

Kelly’s UCLA groups have been characterised by prolific offenses and mediocre defenses. The Bruins averaged 36.5 factors per sport this season, main the Pac-12 and rating No. 16 nationally. Their struggles got here largely due to a protection that gave up 26.8 factors, rating No. 75 nationally.

UCLA’s protection has been a sore spot beneath Kelly after giving up a mean of 34.1 factors in 2018, 34.8 factors in 2019 and 30.7 factors in 2020. Defensive coordinator Jerry Azzinaro resigned earlier this week, ending a longtime partnership with Kelly that began in 2009 when Azzinaro was the defensive position coach at Oregon earlier than following Kelly to NFL stops with the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers.

The Bruins even have a gap for an offensive line coach after Justin Frye left earlier this week for Ohio State and are in search of a good ends coach after Derek Sage departed for Nevada.

Different adjustments to the employees embody the addition of Ikaika Malloe as exterior linebackers coach and Chad Kauha’aha’a as defensive position coach after Johnny Nansen departed to develop into Arizona’s defensive coordinator and Jason Kaufusi adopted Nansen to Tucson.

UCLA’s roster for 2022 is beginning to take form. Whereas left deal with Sean Rhyan, slot receiver Kyle Philips, tight finish Greg Dulcich, security Quentin Lake, defensive lineman Otito Ogbonnia and proper deal with Alec Anderson have introduced they are going to go away for the NFL, quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, working again Zach Charbonnet and defensive linemen Martin Andrus Jr. and Tyler Manoa intend to return.

Amongst different prime gamers, edge rusher Mitchell Agude has not said his intentions. The deadline for gamers to declare for the NFL draft is Monday.

The workforce is assured of dropping working again Brittain Brown, offensive lineman Paul Grattan Jr., linebacker Jordan Genmark Heath and defensive backs Qwuantrezz Knight and Cam Johnson, amongst others whose eligibility has expired.

UCLA head coach Chip Kelly during an NCAA football game against Hawaii

Chip Kelly coaches the Bruins throughout a sport towards Hawaii on Aug. 28 on the Rose Bowl. (Kyusung Gong / Related Press)

Twelve gamers have entered the switch portal because the finish of the season, though all have been backups aside from punter Luke Akers. The others doubtless headed elsewhere are quarterbacks Parker McQuarrie and Kajiya Hollawayne; extensive receiver Keontez Lewis; linebackers Myles Jackson and AJ Campbell; security DJ Warnell; defensive again Shamar Martin; defensive linemen Tiaoalii Savea, Tyler Kiehne and John Ward; and offensive lineman Beau Taylor.

The Bruins’ 2022 recruiting class, which incorporates 5 four-star gamers, is ranked No. 4 within the Pac-12 by 247 Sports activities, and the workforce has already dipped into the switch portal to safe commitments from Duke extensive receiver Jake Bobo, Central Florida extensive receiver Titus Mokiao-Atimalala, Hawaii linebacker Darius Muasau and Washington linebacker Laiafu Latu.

Kelly is tied with Oregon State’s Jonathan Smith and Arizona’s Herm Edwards for the fourth-longest tenure within the Pac-12, trailing Utah’s Kyle Whittingham, Stanford’s David Shaw and California’s Justin Wilcox. The Pac-12 teaching panorama has shifted dramatically over the past month with USC’s shock hiring of Lincoln Riley, Washington’s hiring of Kalen DeBoer and Oregon’s hiring of Lanning.

In the meantime, the Bruins are forging forward with extra of the identical, hoping Kelly’s greatest days lie forward.

This story initially appeared in Los Angeles Occasions.



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