Notre Dame Football: People Are Forgetting Who Chip Kelly Is


Notre Dame football fans don’t seem to want to remember who Chip Kelly was when he coached Oregon.

Since Slap the Sign, and myself, put a theory together of how Chip Kelly can become Notre Dame’s next head coach, fans have made it clear they disapprove of the former San Francisco coach leading the Irish. Why? I have no idea. It’s almost like people have forgotten who Chip Kelly is as a college coach.

Chip Kelly may not have been a head coach long before taking over in Philadelphia as the Eagles head coach. In his four seasons at Oregon, Kelly finished 44-5 with three Pac-10 (Pac-12) Championships in four years.

It seems as though the Chip Kelly that once created some of the most dominant teams in college football year after year has drifted off track. It’s no secret that since Kelly decided to go pro he has lost his way to winning. With the lack of success he was able to created in his three years in the NFL, it’s understandable why people shy away from his name in coaching rumors.

But everyone needs to remember that at one time, Chip Kelly was one of the most wanted names in coaching. Yes, he’s veered off the path of success, but it’s an entirely different game in the NFL than in college, and every college football fan knows that.

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Kelly deserves a chance. Actually, he’s earned one. He’s made a bad mistake and thought he was ready for something he clearly wasn’t. But in three years, I doubt Kelly has forgotten how to coach a college football team.

Kelly doesn’t have a failed season in college. In his first year with the Ducks, Kelly lead them to their first Rose Bowl since 1995. The following season, Oregon played in the National Championship and was a field goal shy of defeating Auburn and Heisman winner, Cam Newton.

The first two seasons at Oregon were successful, but the following year, Kelly lead the Ducks to their first Rose Bowl win since 1917. The next year, Oregon returned to glory by winning the Fiesta Bowl against #5 Kansas State.

In the NFL, Kelly may have failed, but he started strong. In his first two seasons with the Eagles, Kelly lead Philadelphia to two 10-6 records and one NFC East Championship. His last two years in the NFL, Kelly’s career took a major blow with a combined 9-23 record.

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People need to remember, that Chip Kelly isn’t just a 9-23 NFL coach. For his entire career, he’s been a winner and has created great football teams. Two bad seasons don’t define a man’s legacy, even if everyone wants to believe they do.

When it comes to Notre Dame, the Irish would be lucky to have Kelly. He’s an offensive minded coach that always knew how to keep his defense strong. Compared to Brian Kelly, Chip is miles ahead whether fans admit it or not.

Chip Kelly would make Notre Dame great again. Two terrible years in the NFL doesn’t mean he’s lost his touch. A lot of college coaches fail in the pros before returning to dominate the college level again. Kelly is going to be one of them.

Don’t forget who Chip Kelly is. He’s a coach that once formed some of the most exciting college football teams in the nation. He’s a two-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year winner. But most importantly, he’s a winner, and two losing seasons in the NFL haven’t changed that.

If the Fighting Irish want to win, they need to stop masking who Chip Kelly is. Because behind this failed 49ers coach is a man who’s true calling is coaching college football.