Chip Kelly on return to college football: ‘I wouldn’t rule anything out’

Chip Kelly was wildly successful as a college head coach and helped spark all sorts of innovation on and off the field. On Tuesday, about 36 hours after being fired as the 49ers head coach, Kelly told FOX Sports he’s open to coming back to the college game.

“I evaluate all jobs individually,” he said. “I wouldn’t rule anything out.”

The 53-year-old Kelly was 46-7 in four seasons as Oregon’s head coach with three of teams finishing in the top four. He went 26-21 in three seasons with the Eagles before being let go a year ago and then took over a dreadful 49ers team with a depleted roster and went 2-14 before the organization cleaned house. The timing of Kelly’s dismissals clouded his coaching prospects because of when college head coaching jobs came open.

“I’ve never said I’m only looking at one thing,” Kelly said. “I will never leave my team when there are games left in the season, so I never looked at college because all those jobs are filled while NFL season is still going on.

“I only talked to NFL teams after our bowl game was over when I was at Oregon. It’s pretty simple for me: You can never leave your players during the season. How can you ask players to be all in and then leave when you get a better deal?”

Sources have told FOX Sports there are a couple of schools contemplating making coaching changes this month if they could land Kelly.