Chip Kelly just wants to coach ball, but his exit from UCLA is concerning amid college football’s hazy future

Chip Kelly wanted out. Not just out of UCLA, but out of being a college-level head coach. How else can you reasonably explain his decision to give up a $6 million salary for the 2024 season and the $4 million buyout he would’ve received after he was (likely) fired following that season … all to reportedly become the offensive coordinator at Ohio State?

The opportunity for such a stunning move wouldn’t have been there at all if Bill O’Brien hadn’t left Ohio State to become the Boston College coach. But with Kelly’s reported interest in NFL offensive coordinator gigs ultimately not reciprocated, the Buckeyes are a good enough landing spot to get out of dodge. 

Yes, Ohio State will pay Kelly well, but it won’t pay him nearly as much as the $10 million he’d have received just waiting for the other shoe to drop in Brentwood. Kelly has made plenty of money as a coach at the college and NFL levels, but you only walk away from $10 million with the proper motivation to do so.

There will be plenty of reasons given for why Kelly decided to leave, and most will have validity. UCLA may be getting more money in the future from its new life in the Big Ten, but right now it doesn’t have the money to compete at the top of the conference. UCLA’s crosstown rival USC saw the fantastic job D’Anton Lynn did as Kelly’s defensive coordinator and decided it wanted him. All it had to do was double Lynn’s salary, and he was a Trojan. 

And just in case being unable to compete financially to keep Kelly’s staff intact wasn’t enough, UCLA has struggled to compete on the name, image and likeness (NIL) front as well, making it harder to keep players in blue and gold.

While those are valid reasons and undoubtedly played a role, I’ll never be convinced that Kelly’s…


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Author : Tom Fornelli

Publish date : 2024-02-10 01:29:05

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