Several weeks ago, 49ers head coach Chip Kelly refuted reports indicating that he was interested in returning to the college ranks and that he would entertain offers from big-time collegiate programs. Today, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Kelly was not just offering an empty, company-line denial of such rumors. Instead, colleges that privately have made overtures to Kelly’s representatives have been told in no uncertain terms that Kelly is not interested in leaving San Francisco.
Kelly signed a four-year, $24MM contract to become the 49ers’ head coach this past offseason, and his first year on the job has not been a fun one. The Niners are 1-6 and are clearly in rebuilding mode, and if Kelly’s contract expires or if he is let go before the 49ers become a competitive club once again, he may not get another shot in the league. After all, although he enjoyed some initial success during his first NFL head coaching gig with the Eagles, he effectively ran himself out of town when he tried to assume too much control of Philadelphia’s operations.
Of course, even if his NFL star has waned, his tremendous success at the collegiate level all but assures him of another prime opportunity with a college team if and when he does choose to return to campus life.
On a related note, and of particular interest given that the Saints and 49ers are set to square off today, Mike Triplett of ESPN.com reports that, when New Orleans head coach Sean Payton briefly considered moving on from the Saints after the 2015 season, the 49ers emerged as perhaps the most likely suitor for Payton’s services. Payton’s Saints are 3-4 after starting the season 0-3, and they are showing signs that they could be contenders again sooner rather than later.
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