Chip Kelly named San Francisco 49ers head coach

WPVI logo
Thursday, January 14, 2016
VIDEO: Kelly to 49ers, Coughlin out
Chip Kelly is the new 49ers head coach.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Chip Kelly has been named the new head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.

49ers CEO Jed York announced the move on Twitter Thursday afternoon and so did the team.

"After a thorough search, Trent & I are thrilled to announce Chip Kelly as the new #HeadCoach of the 49ers," York wrote, referring to general manager Trent Baalke.

"As one of the most historic franchises in the National Football League, I realize the high standards and expectations that this position demands and I embrace the challenges ahead," Kelly said in a statement.

Kelly, the 20th head coach in franchise history, won't be introduced in a news conference until next week based on schedules.

The former Eagles coach will replace fired coach Jim Tomsula. Kelly emerged as the favorite among several experienced candidates that included ex-New York Giants head coach Coughlin, former Raiders, Broncos and Redskins coach Mike Shanahan and former Raiders coach Hue Jackson, who was hired Wednesday to coach the Cleveland Browns.

The 52-year-old Kelly was fired by Philadelphia after Week 16 with one game left in his third season as coach. The former University of Oregon coach was 6-9 in 2015 following two 10-6 seasons, prompting Eagles CEO Jeffrey Lurie to make a change.

Hiring the offensive-minded Kelly could give the 49ers good reason to keep quarterback Colin Kaepernick to work his way back into the dominant, dynamic quarterback he was a few years back with his legs and strong arm. There has been thought that Kaepernick would be Kelly's ideal type of quarterback.

Deciding on the quarterback will be a major decision for Kelly in the coming months.

Former first-round pick Blaine Gabbert took over in November for the benched Kaepernick, who has since undergone shoulder and thumb surgeries. Kaepernick's $11.9 million salary for 2016 becomes fully guaranteed for injury come April 1, and there had been belief the team might try to trade him or release him.

Baalke interviewed Coughlin on Monday on the East Coast and Jackson on Sunday in Cincinnati. Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter also interviewed, last Thursday in Tampa, Florida.

The Eagles, meanwhile, continue to seek a replacement for Kelly, however, all Action News has learned they are expected to hire Kansas City Chief offensive coordinator Doug Pederson.

The Eagles released a statement Thursday evening confirming they have concluded their search for a head coach.

Kelly was fired five days before Philadelphia's season-ending victory over Coughlin and the Giants.

Coughlin resigned last week after coaching the Giants to two Super Bowl championships in his 12 seasons in New York and was rumored to be a contender in the Eagles search.

Sources told ESPN's NFL Insider Adam Schefter Thursday morning that Coughlin took his name out of the running for the Eagles position because it was "not the right fit."

Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and running backs coach Duce Staley were also up for their vacant coaching position.

Coughlin's former offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, who the Eagles interviewed last week, was named the New York Giants' 17th head coach.


ESPN & The Associated Press contributed to this report.