By Steve Finley
UCLA introduced their new football coach, Chip Kelly during a packed press conference on the UCLA campus last Monday. If you could package the smiles from boosters into victories Kelly would be very successful already but expectations don’t translate into wins.
“When I came back into coaching I wanted to make sure this was the right fit for me,” said Kelly at the press conference on last Monday. “Football is a great game and to be around the right people is the most important thing to me. When I talked to the UCLA people it just made sense to come here.”
Kelly is returning to the Pac-12 where he was the head coach at Oregon for four years. During those four years he went 46-7 and finished in the top four in the national polls three times. His teams played in four major bowl games and that included two Rose Bowl games. “I get a chance to come back to a conference where I learned how to be a head coach,” said Kelly.
Kelly is known for producing great offenses but the Bruins main problems have been on defense the past few years. Kelly said he is also proud of his defenses and he mentioned several defensive players that are currently playing in the NFL that played at Oregon.
Kelly also spoke about being a follower of UCLA’s legendary men’s basketball coach John Wooden. “Every coach that has put on tennis shoes and grabbed a whistle has learned something from John Wooden,” said Kelly.
Although there were a lot of smiles and handshakes at the press conference time will tell if the $23.4 million four-year contract Kelly signed will be money well spent. “I am very grateful to be here at UCLA,” said Kelly. “My program will be about relationships, friendships and championships.”