Talk to people who know Chip Kelly and 'loyal,' 'innovator,' and 'competitive' are words often repeated to describe him.
"We are all happy for him, everyone who went to school with him, he's got a huge following," high school classmate Stu Holtshouser said.
Mark Telge taught Kelly at Manchester High School Central where the new Eagles coach is on the Wall of Fame next to Adam Sandler.
"He was an overachieving athlete. He was not gifted with great speed or size or anything like that," Telge said.
He later coached against Kelly before Kelly went on mold his fast paced spread offense at the University of New Hampshire.
"He is what I consider a genius in the sport of football," Telge said.
But Kelly has yet to coach a game in the NFL.
Critics question whether his system will work in the pros and how he'll deal with the pressure cooker of Philadelphia sports.
New Hampshire head football coach and close friend, Sean McDonnell, says Kelly is ready for the challenge.
"I listen to the talk shows down there, man they are tough. He comes off the plane and he says they booed Santa Claus, but at the same time, I know one thing they'll get, he's going to give a great effort," McDonnell said.