Oregon Magazine

Pigskin Pete
Oregon's Chip Kelly
Has Remarkable Resume'

By Fred Delkin

Check out Oregon head coach Chip Kelly's resume' and you grasp why this mentor has
led the Ducks to their finest performance in the football program's 116-year history. Chip was
born in Manchester, NH on 11/25/63. He attended Manchester high school, lettering in football
and baseball. He then enrolled at the University of New Hampshire, playing on the football and
baseball teams and graduated with a degree in Physical Education in 1990. He was hired as an
assistant football coach at New York City's Columbia University, then returned to his alma mater
as a running backs coach, moved to a football assistant coaching position as defensive
coordinator at Baltimore's John Hopkins University for a year, then returned to UNH, serving as
running backs coach 1994-96, offensive line coach, 1997-98 and then became offensive
coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 1999-2006.
In 2007, Kelly came to Oregon as offensive coordinator under Mike Bellotti. Bellotti was aware
of Kelly's accomplishments at Division IAA UNH, where Kelly perfected a fast-paced offense
that boosted the Wildcats into second nationally in total yards gained in 2005, scoring 40 or more
points in seven games. In his first year of coaching at the Division I level, Kelly created a Duck
attack that led the Pac10 in rushing, scoring and total offense. In 2008, Oregon broke UO
records for touchdowns and ranked second nationally in rushing. Now Kelly was crowned
Bellotti's successor, the first head coaching position attained by this now 47-year-old New
England transplant. He earned the 2009 Pac10 title for the Ducks and led them to the Rose
Bowl, losing to Ohio State when Kelly got uncharacteristically conservative.
This season, Kelly polished his gambling reputation with fake punts and repeatedly successfully
going for it when faced with critical fourth down situations. OK, so this guy is a masterful and
gutsy strategist...but he's also proven adept at team psychology, as evidenced by the "Win the
Day" pennants that decorate Autzen stadium and his oft-spoken credo of "deeds, not words."
Kelly has made believers of his pupils, whose actions prove they take his words to heart. They
love going to war for the guy, and they buy sweatingly into his conditioning philosophy that has
made the Webfoots king of the fourth quarter.
Kelly and company have taken University of Oregon football higher than any dedicated fan of the
Lemon & Yellow has ever dreamed. Yes, Oregon has had successful and honored coaches...Len
Casanova, Rich Brooks and Mike Bellotti come to mind, but we believe that Bellotti's reputation
deserves special gloss for his decision to bring Kelly on board. Way back when, this writer
played in the Pacific Coast Conference of the 1950's, and both Oregon members were the
league's weak sisters and a Duck was considered a joke as a mascot. As we pen this, the Duck
mascot has earned the title of finest college athletic symbol in the land and the national sporting
press has applauded the Ducks' gridiron achievments. On January 10, 2011, Kelly & crew will
try to stroke their way to a national championship...we bet they will make it!


© 2011 Oregon Magazine