The University of Oregon fired head coach Mark Helfrich on Tuesday, and for the time being we can remove Chip Kelly from the list of candidates. The San Francisco 49ers head coach was asked about the job, and he told the beat writers he will not be headed back to his old stomping grounds.
Kelly said he intends to remain with the 49ers, and has not heard from Oregon about the position. He did say he was willing to help them find their next coach, but that was it. He offered up a, “So we're all done with that, I hope.” Sorry, Jason Kirk.
This is not exactly a shocking revelation. Rumors started circulating earlier this season that he would look to leave the 49ers rather than go through more of a rebuild process. He has repeatedly denied that, and this will likely quiet the rumor mill for the time being.
Kelly certainly would not be the first coach to lie about interest in another job, but I would be fairly stunned if he quit to go back to college. Maybe Jed York decides to fire him as part of a massive overhaul, but I don’t see Kelly walking away from this job. People will point to the massive rebuilding process in front of him, but Kelly likely had a pretty good idea about how bad this team was coming into the job.
We are not through with rumors of changes to the 49ers coaching staff and front office. Trent Baalke is on the hot seat, and some changes on the coaching staff would not be surprising, even if Chip Kelly is not fired. It will make for a busy January.