Chip Kelly contract: UCLA’s sixth-year coach extended after leading best season in nearly a decade


UCLA has agreed to a contract extension with Chip Kelly that will keep the sixth-year coach with the Bruins through 2027, the university announced Friday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“I am excited about our football program under the leadership of Coach Kelly and his talented staff,” said athletic director Martin Jarmond in a statement. “The football program is on an upward trajectory, both on the field and in the classroom. Coach Kelly and his staff have done a tremendous job developing young men as demonstrated by their academic excellence.”

Kelly, 59, is 27-29 in five seasons leading the Bruins but is coming off his best season, which ended with a 9-4 record and a Sun Bowl win with a No. 21 ranking in the final AP Top 25 (the first for the program since 2014). Kelly, who is widely known as one of the top innovators in the rise of the spread offense in college football, helped the Bruins rack up 503.6 yards per game and 7.01 yards per play, both of which ranked top five in the nation. The Bruins finished eighth in the nation in scoring offense at 39.2 points per game.

In 2021, Kelly posted an 8-4 record and berth in the Holiday Bowl, which was canceled due to COVID-19 protocols.

UCLA has put faith into Kelly despite a rock start to the marriage.Kelly went 10-21 during his first three seasons with the program, which put him on a semi-hot seat per CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd. Kelly handled that pressure well with veteran quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson and a versatile rushing attack to not only get off the hot seat, but give the Bruins hope for the future.

Speaking of the future, UCLA will move to the Big Ten in 2024 with stability for the first time in nearly a decade. Does that mean the Bruins will have a chance to make a splash it their new home? That remains to be seen. However, the news that Kelly will be taking his innovative offense to the Midwest will make the transition even more intriguing. 

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