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Chip Kelly leaves Oregon


Oregon players shower head coach Chip Kelly in gatorade after the team’s Fiesta Bowl victory on January 3, 2013 (MCT Campus).

Oregon head coach Chip Kelly is leaving the Ducks to become the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, as first reported by ESPN Wednesday morning. Kelly was pursued by a number of NFL teams, particularly the Cleveland Browns and the Eagles, but it appeared as though he was returning to Oregon earlier this month.

Kelly was 46-7 in four years at Oregon, taking his team to four straight BCS bowls, including a national title game loss to Auburn in 2011.

Kelly was 2-2 versus the Cardinal during his tenure as head coach. The last three games were all marquee matchups between top-15 teams, and all four represented the only conference loss of the season for the losing squad.

Stanford upset No. 7 Oregon 51-42 at Stanford Stadium in 2009. Oregon then demolished the Cardinal in Andrew Luck’s final two years at Stanford, ruining the Cardinal’s national title hopes twice. In 2010, Oregon was Stanford’s only loss before the team went on to defeat Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl; in 2011, the Cardinal lost to Oregon and then to Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl. In 2012, Stanford upset then-No. 2 Oregon at Autzen Stadium in a 17-14 overtime victory that kept Oregon out of the title game this time around.

Oregon will play at Stanford on a Thursday night, Nov. 7, during the 2013 campaign.

Oregon could face possible NCAA sanctions for its use of recruiting services, although Kelly said after the Fiesta Bowl that he “felt confident in the situation.” The sanctions are not expected to be as severe as those handed down to programs such as USC and Penn State in recent years, and few analysts believe that they are Kelly’s primary motivation for moving to the NFL. Up-tempo offenses, including the San Francisco 49ers’ pistol scheme that dominated the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round of the playoffs, have already been proven successful in the pros, but the NFL hasn’t seen the likes of Kelly’s zone-read attack.

Kelly’s departure does not bode well for Oregon’s recruiting efforts, with national signing day looming on February 6. As expected, Oregon is promoting offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich to head coach.

The Oregon Athletic Department has announced that Kelly will hold a press conference at 2 p.m.

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Billy Gallagher is a senior staff writer at The Stanford Daily. He has previously worked at The Daily as editor in chief, a managing editor of news, news desk editor, sports desk editor and staff development editor. He is a junior from Villanova, PA majoring in Economics. He is also a writer for TechCrunch.