Chip Kelly is back on the West Coast.
After three years with the Philadelphia Eagles, the former Oregon coach has been hired by the San Francisco 49ers, the team announced Thursday. Coaching in the NFC West, Kelly will faces two meetings a year against the Los Angeles Rams as well as fellow former Pac-10 coach Pete Carroll, now head coach of the Seattle Seahawks.
Kelly becomes the 20th head coach in 49ers history, following Jim Tomsula, who was fired after just one season at the the helm. Owner Jed York tweeted that the hiring came at the end of “a thorough search.” Other candidates are said to have included Mike Shanahan and Hue Jackson, who was hired Wednesday to coach the Cleveland Browns.
As Oregon coach from 2009 to 2012, Kelly was 46-7, coaching the Ducks to victories in the Rose and Fiesta bowls and an appearance in the BCS national championship game. He brought his successful ways to the NFL during his first season with the Eagles, going 10-6 and winning the NFC East with a team that had gone 4-12 the previous year.
Kelly is known for his high-powered offenses and could be a good fit for 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who lost his starting job to Blaine Gabbert this season.
The Eagles have yet to hire a replacement for Kelly. Former New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin had several discussions with the organization but on Thursday withdrew his name from consideration for the head coaching position.
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