Tampa Bay team officials say UO coach has his 'heart in college football'
Chip Kelly isn't departing as Oregon's head football coach after all to join the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Kelly issued a statement through the university's sports information department on Monday:
'I am flattered by the interest of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' organization. I enjoyed meeting with the Glazer family and General Manager Mark Dominik but after numerous discussions, I concluded that I have some unfinished business to complete at the University of Oregon.'
The Tampa Bay Times reported early Monday morning that the Ducks' three-year coach had decided against becoming the new Tampa Bay head coach.
Buccaneers' general manager Mark Dominik said Kelly told him that he wanted to stay in college football.
Kelly reportedly met secretly with Dominik and members of the Glazer family.
Said UO athletic director Rob Mullens:
'The Tampa Bay Buccaneers asked for permission to engage in conversation with coach Kelly, which was granted. The University of Oregon is one of the nation's preeminent college football programs and, as such, it comes as no surprise the NFL is interested in our personnel. We are pleased with coach Kelly's decision to remain as our head coach. Coach Kelly has provided great leadership and remains committed to building on our position among the elite college football programs in the country.'
Kelly, 48, has led the Ducks to three straight Pac-10/12 championships and three BCS bowl games. He lost the national championship game last year, but defeated Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl this year to give the Ducks their first Rose Bowl victory in 95 years.
Kelly came to the University of Oregon in 2007 as offensive coordinator. He became head coach in March 2009, when Mike Bellotti became the university's athletic director.