Oregon Athletic Director Rob Mullens says he’s thrilled that Chip Kelly has spurned NFL teams to remain the coach of the Ducks. But Mullens says he fully expects to have more NFL teams go after Kelly in the future.
“If we’re winning 11, 12, 13, 14 games, it’s something we’ll deal with,” Mullens told the Oregonian.
Kelly turned down the Buccaneers last year and then returned to Oregon this year despite reports that the Browns and Eagles had both identified him as their top choice. Mullens said he feels lucky to have a coach who’s good enough to leave for the NFL, but chooses to stay in college.
“Obviously, we’re ecstatic that Coach Kelly decided to remain at the University of Oregon,” Mullens said. “We’ve had unprecedented success over the last four years and that’s a tribute to his innovative style.”
Mullens said Oregon was in the early stages of a plan to find Kelly’s successor, a plan he’s glad not to implement.
“But as I said all along to everyone, our No. 1 priority was to retain Chip Kelly,” Mullens said. “He’s a special coach; the best in football, in our opinion.”
If so, the best coach in football will be at Oregon in 2013. But maybe not beyond.