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UCLA is committed to the Chip Kelly regime: extending their head coach to a three-year deal on Friday.
The Athletic‘s Bruce Feldman relayed the news: a telltale of the Bruins’ confidence in Kelly after his last season’s 8-4 result exhibited potential to stay afloat in the Pac-12, now facing former Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley’s addition at USC.
Kelly managed to get his Bruins team buzzing at the right time: playing in the penultimate year of his contract and produced his first winning season with the Bruins. In his three years as coach, Kelly is 18-25.
“UCLA led the Pac-12 in scoring after finishing No. 2 in 2020, up from No. 8 in 2019 and No. 11 in the league in 2018, Kelly’s debut season,” added Feldman.
Bruins AD Martin Jarmond released a statement on the new deal, crediting the improvement seen over Kelly’s tenure.
“This new contract represents the commitment, stability and investment needed to continue the upward trajectory of our football program,” Jarmond said. “Since joining UCLA, our football team’s winning percentage has increased every year, including increased momentum in recruiting and strategic use of the transfer portal.”
Kelly’s renewed deal will drop his annual salary from $5.6 million to $4.7 million once his current deal expires after next season, notes ESPN.
The coach’s name had been floated for a potential reunion with his former program, Oregon, once head coach Mario Cristobal left for Miami.
Kelly built his reputation as an offensive innovator for the Ducks — leading them to a 46-7 (33-3 division) record as head coach from 2009-2012. He previously worked as the Ducks’ offensive coordinator from 2007-08.
He released a statement on his new extension:
“We are extremely appreciative of the entire UCLA administration for their support of our football program. We have a tremendous amount of 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.”
Kelly’s new extension will keep him on the sideline until 2025. The Bruins were eyeing Kelly’s buyout number from his previous deal, set to drop to $0 on Saturday.
UCLA finished second in the South behind the Utes (8-1).
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela