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UCLA hires Chip Kelly as head coach

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  • By College Football 24/7 staff
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Chip Kelly is back.

UCLA announced the hiring of Kelly as head coach on Saturday. He agreed to a five-year contract worth $23.3 million with a $9 million reciprocal buyout, per the school.

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"I am thrilled to welcome Chip Kelly to Westwood," UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said in a statement. "His success speaks for itself, but more than that, I firmly believe that his passion for the game and his innovative approach to coaching student-athletes make him the perfect fit for our program. 'Champions Made Here' is more than just a mantra at UCLA, and I'm confident that Chip will lead UCLA Football back to competing for championships."

The former Eagles and 49ers coach is returning to the college ranks after spending the 2017 season as an ESPN college football analyst. The Bruins moved quickly and decisively to land their man, as the job has been vacant for less than a week. The Bruins fired Jim Mora on Nov. 19.

"It is an absolute honor to join the Bruin Family, and I am grateful to Chancellor Block and to Dan Guerrero for this incredible opportunity," Kelly stated. "UCLA is a world-class institution with a distinguished history in athletics, and we will do our part to uphold its tradition of excellence."

Kelly fizzled out in the NFL after four seasons, but he had great success at Oregon, building the Ducks into a national power as head coach from 2009-12. He went 46-7 over four seasons at Oregon, and led the program to a national title game.

He helped develop Marcus Mariota during the QB's freshman year at Oregon, and while he has a reputation as an offensive guru, he also coached some great defensive talents during his time at Oregon, including T.J. Ward, Kiko Alonso and Arik Armstead. Kelly will inherit one of the FBS' worst defenses at UCLA.

Now that the Bruins have their head coach, it adds a little more intrigue to QB Josh Rosen's next step. The junior is among college football's top quarterbacks and many expect him to apply for early eligibility into the 2018 NFL Draft. How will Kelly's hiring factor into his decision, if at all? It's worth watching, especially for QB-needy NFL teams.

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