Former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, ostracized out of the group of NFL head coaches this year due to his unusual offense and his questionable personnel moves, has landed back in the fraternity less than three weeks later. San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York today announced the team has hired Chip Kelly as their new head coach.
The 49ers hiring Kelly brings the NFL head coaching vacancies down to three: the Tennessee Titans, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Eagles. The Titans are expected to hire either New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels or promote their tight ends coach and interim head coach Mike Mularkey to the full time position. Tampa Bay appears to be close to hiring their offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, who had garnered interest from multiple teams this offseason, as their replacement for the fired Lovie Smith.
The Miami Dolphins (Adam Gase), New York Giants (Ben McAdoo), and Cleveland Browns (Hue Jackson) have already filled their head coaching vacancies this year.
Kelly, who was previously the head coach at Oregon where he was 46-7 in four seasons, spent three years with the Eagles. He finished 10-6 his first two years, earning a Playoff berth in his first season in 2013. Last season, the Eagles stumbled to a 6-10 record, following an offseason in which Kelly gained control of the team's personnel decisions, and immediately made several questionable moves that seemed to backfire during the season.
The San Francisco 49ers fired head coach Jim Tomsula on January 4 after one season as the team's head coach. He finished the year 5-11. Tomsula replaced Jim Harbaugh, with whom the team "mutually agreed to part ways" after the 2014 season. Personality conflicts were said to be a large part of why Harbaugh did not return to the team despite a 44-19-1 record in four seasons, with two division titles, three NFC Championship Game appearances, and one Super Bowl appearance.