Agrees to Six Year Contract

The University of Oregon announced that Oregon Head Football Coach Chip Kelly has agree to a new six-year contract to coach the Ducks through 2015.

Media Release:


Chip Kelly agrees to deal designed to keep him at Oregon at least through 2015 season.

EUGENE – University of Oregon second-year head football coach Chip Kelly, who guided the Ducks to unprecedented success a year ago, has agreed to a six-year contract extension designed to retain him as the university's head coach through at least the 2015 season.

Kelly, 46, has become the school's first football coach in the program's 115 seasons to post 14 wins in his first 17 games at the Ducks' helm. He also became the first coach in Pacific-10 Conference history to win an outright conference title in his first season as head coach, guiding Oregon to its first Rose Bowl Game appearance in 15 years.

The total value of the six-year agreement is $20.5 million.

The first year of his new pact will guarantee the Manchester, N.H., native a minimum of $2.4 million in addition to the customary incentives tied to conference and national championship finishes, national rankings and his teams' academic success. Following the 2011 campaign, his incentives would gradually diminish while a greater share of his annual compensation would be guaranteed. In his final two years of the contract, his only remaining on-the-field incentives would be tied to an appearance in the BCS national championship game and winning 12 or more regular season games. His remaining incentives would be contingent upon his teams reaching academic benchmarks.

His new agreement, which went into effect June 15, 2010 and officially runs through June 14, 2016, was finalized by all parties today, culminating discussions that were initiated last spring.

All money used to compensate Kelly, as well as all of the university's coaches and staff, comes from athletics department funds and not from university general funds or state taxpayer dollars.

Provisions of the new package calls for the 21-year coaching veteran to receive a one-year rollover extension for winning a minimum of 12 games or participating in the BCS Championship Game in either the 2010 or 2011 seasons. For each year after that, the rollover would go into effect for posting 11 or more wins, including a bowl victory, or winning a BCS bowl game among his 10 or more victories.

Upon being named Oregon's 30th head football coach in school history on March 13, 2009, he agreed to a five-year contract. After claiming Pacific-10 Conference Coach-of-the-Year honors following last year's 10-3 season, his final compensation in his first year as head coach reached $1.8 million.

Included in his previous contract was a clause that allowed Kelly the option of walking away from Oregon without penalty, renegotiate a new agreement or increase his base salary to $2.3 million should he guide the Ducks to a minimum of 19 wins over the course of any two consecutive seasons. Through one-quarter of his second season, Kelly already has accumulated an Oregon head coaching ledger of 14-3.

"The success of a football program at any university is a crucial component to the financial security of any collegiate athletics department at the Division I level, specifically those who are financially self-supporting," Oregon Athletics Director Rob Mullens said. "Chip Kelly's track record in a short amount of time speaks volumes for his character, integrity and ability to lead this program to a new set of standards. It became clear before my arrival at Oregon that retaining him to head the university's football program was a priority. This is an investment in the future success of Oregon athletics and an investment in retaining one of the brightest college coaches in the country."

The contract also calls for a substantial buyout on Kelly's part should he leave the university to secure any other coaching position. He would be required to reimburse the university $4 million should he decide to vacate his Oregon head coaching position following the first year of the agreement, with that buyout gradually reduced by $250,000 each subsequent year until remaining at $2 million following the sixth season or longer of the deal.

Since joining the Ducks as their offensive coordinator in 2007 following eight seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of New Hampshire, last year's national coach-of-year honoree has masterminded an offense that has accounted for 50 points or more 13 times in less than four seasons. In 2009, Oregon finished sixth in the country in rushing offense (231.7 avg.), eighth in scoring offense (36.1 avg.) and 25th nationally in pass efficiency defense.

Oregon won the 2009 conference title by two games, marking the first time any Pac-10 team owned a two-game advantage in the final standings in 18 years.

Oregon also completed last year ranked 11th in the country and is currently fourth nationally in both the Associated Press and USA Today coaches polls.

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