Chip Kelly turned down the chance to coach the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012. During the week Kelly coaches against the Bucs, he explained his version of why.
"I didn't want to leave the staff at Oregon at that time," Kelly said. "I didn't want to leave the players at Oregon at that time."
Kelly said his decision to stay at Oregon was because he preferred his situation than the NFL. He said he was impressed with the Glazer brothers, who own the Bucs, and Mark Dominik, Tampa Bay's general manager. But he wasn't itching to coach in the NFL. They met while Kelly was on a recruiting trip, so he never visited Tampa Bay.
"I didn't have NFL aspirations," Kelly said. "They contacted me and I said I would go and interview as long as it didn't affect my recruiting. It was the first time I was contacted by a team....I listened, is what happened."
Kelly stayed with the Ducks and coached them to a Fiesta Bowl victory. One year later, he had a group of teams interested in him. The Eagles won the Kelly sweepstakes, and paid $6.5 million per year to get him services. He was available because he spurned the NFL one year earlier.
"I don't look at decisions as tough," Kelly said. "I don't look at decisions as difficult. You get all the information necessary, and then you make the decision and you move forward. We had an outstanding year staying at Oregon, and those memories we had there, those players I get an opportunity to coach, that staff, I love those guys, I still love those guys, so I think it was a good decision for me."