All signs on Sunday seemed to point to Chip Kelly heading to Tampa Bay to be their new head coach. Now, it sounds like that’s NOT going to happen.
The two sides were reportedly working on a contract to finalize the deal, but the Register-Guard reports that Kelly has had a change of heart and will stay with Oregon.
“His heart is with college football and Oregon and he’s no longer being considered,” Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik told the Tampa Bay Times on Monday.
The 48-year-old Manchester, New Hampshire native has spent the last five seasons with the Ducks, two as offensive coordinator before taking over as head coach in 2009. Under Kelly, the Ducks are 34-6, including a 1-2 mark in BCS bowl games. Earlier this month, the Ducks won the Rose Bowl for the first time in 95 years.
Kelly signed a six-year, $20.5 million contract extension in 2010 that included a $3.5 million buyout.
Kelly’s decision puts the Buccaneers in the position where the person will know that they were not the first choice for the job, and that the person the Buccaneers wanted had zero NFL coaching experience. The Buccaneers have interviewed longtime NFL assistants/coordinators such as Jerry Gray (Tennessee Titans), Mike Zimmer (Cincinnati Bengals), Rob Chudzinkski (Carolina Panthers), Joe Philbin and Tom Clements (Green Bay Packers) were interviewed, as were former NFL head coaches Marty Schottenheimer, Brad Childress and Mike Sherman.