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UCLA and Chip Kelly agree to 4-year contract extension – The Denver Post

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UCLA and Chip Kelly agree to 4-year contract extension – The Denver Post

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Football coach Chip Kelly has signed a new four-year contract with UCLA.

Kelly was due to start the final year of a five-year, $23.3 million contract, which he originally signed in November 2017, on Sunday.

“We are extremely grateful to the entire UCLA administration for their support of our football program,” Kelly said in a press release. “We have tremendous gratitude for our players and staff. Their tireless work and commitment to our vision has built a great foundation. We are excited to continue to build this program into something that makes the UCLA fanbase proud.

The new contract is worth an average of $4.7 million a year, a source says Jon Wilner of The Mercury News.

The extension comes days after two of Kelly’s coordinators officially left the program to take jobs at other different universities, and another coordinator reportedly resigned from his position.

All three coordinators had been with the program since Kelly arrived at Westwood in 2018.

In 2021, Kelly led the Bruins to their first winning season (8-4 overall, 6-3 Pac-12) during his tenure. UCLA first became eligible for the bowl under Kelly but was forced to pull out of the Holiday Bowl just hours before kickoff due to COVID-19 protocols.

The program got off to a promising start to the season with a win over LSU, but stumbled on the AP Top 25 poll and began to lean toward another .500 season in October.

The Bruins went 3-0 in November, which seemed like enough to keep Kelly in Westwood and avoid the chaos of the coaching carousel.

Kelly was considered a candidate to coach Oregon during the final week of the first-day signing period and early preparations for the bowling game. He confirmed he received a phone call from the University of Oregon and had a conversation about their coaching work.

Kelly was repeatedly asked about the status of her contract but never wanted to address her contract publicly.

If the university wanted to go in a different direction, Kelly would have needed a $9 million buyout.

The athletic department reported a deficit of $18.9 million for fiscal year 2019, according to information obtained by Wilner. UCLA could have avoided paying the buyout if they had kept Kelly employed until Jan. 15, the last day of his fourth year. Kelly’s fifth year did not include a redemption.

“This new contract represents the commitment, stability and investment needed to continue the upward trajectory of our football program,” UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond said in a statement. “Since joining UCLA, our football team’s winning percentage has increased every year, including increased momentum in recruiting and the strategic use of the transfer portal.”

The extension comes as a vote of confidence in a coach who went 16-25 in his first four seasons. The decision to keep Kelly provides some stability to the program.

Kelly will have to get to work replacing three key assistants: offensive coordinator Justin Frye, who left for Ohio State to become its associate head coach for offense and offensive line coach; special teams coordinator Derek Sage, who left to become Nevada’s offensive coordinator; and defensive coordinator Jerry Azzinaro, who reportedly quit.

Along with new openings on the coaching staff, roster management will be a top priority this offseason and something Kelly talked about in late November.

Most of the Bruins’ draft-eligible players have made their future intentions clear while 12 other players have already left the program for the transfer portal.

Ten high school students signed during the early signing period. Kelly said he would consider exploring the transfer portal to use the remaining scholarships.

UCLA had used the transfer portal to its advantage over the past two years, bringing in quarterback Ethan Garbers (Washington), running back Zach Charbonnet (Michigan) and defensive back Qwuantrezz Knight (Kent State).

In December, the Bruins appeared to have already landed a big commitment from highly touted quarterback Dillon Gabriel, who was traded out of Central Florida, but that was short-lived. Gabriel called off his commitment to Oklahoma, but on Monday, four-year UCLA starting quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson announced he was returning for his final year of eligibility.

On Friday, Charbonnet joined Thompson-Robinson in saying he was staying for his senior season.



UCLA and Chip Kelly agree to 4-year contract extension – The Denver Post

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