Just minutes after Oregon announced that it was parting ways with head coach Mark Helfrich on Tuesday night, the speculation began that Chip Kelly could return to rescue the program after a disappointing 4-8 season.
Kelly was the Ducks’ head coach from 2009-2012, going 46-7 and helping to build the program into a national powerhouse. His tenure included two Rose Bowl appearances (2009, 2011), a Fiesta Bowl win (2012) and a loss in the 2010 BCS title game.
On Wednesday afternoon, however, Kelly did his best to put the Oregon rumors to rest. From CSN Bay Area:
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The combination of the head shake, the “no” and the “so we're all done with that, I hope” should end the speculation – at least for now.
Kelly did express his admiration for Helfrich, who was his offensive coordinator at Oregon.
“I just felt bad for Mark. I love him like a brother. He’s a tremendous person. He’s a hell of a football coach, but he’s an even better person. Just felt for him and the rest of the guys on that staff. It’s an unfortunate thing that goes on in this profession. We all know about it when we signed up for it, but when it happens you’re still taken aback by it.”
Since leaving Oregon for the NFL, Kelly has coached the Eagles and 49ers. He went 26-21 in three seasons with Philadelphia and is 1-10 in his first season with San Francisco. And it appears there will be a second season in the Bay Area.