SANTA CLARA, CA – JANUARY 01: Head coach Chip Kelly of the San Francisco 49ers looks on from the sidelines against the Seattle Seahawks during the first quarter of their NFL football game at Levi’s Stadium on January 1, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

He had a successful stint in college coaching at Oregon and two NFL stops in Philadelphia and San Francisco. But now he joins Rex Ryan in the “Recently fired NFL coaches club” at ESPN. Chip Kelly has signed a deal to join the Worldwide Leader this season pulling a rare TV double as both a college football and NFL analyst.

He’ll be seen mainly on ESPN2 during the college football season as a pregame, halftime and studio update analyst. And then he’ll be seen on SportsCenter on Fridays and Sundays to analyze NFL games.

The ESPN announcement has Kelly offering this quote:

Over the last 30 years, I have experienced football from one perspective – as a coach,” said Chip Kelly. “Working in television will allow me to see the game from a different angle; simultaneously, I‘ll provide viewers an insight to the mindset of a coach and team while offering alternative views of various situations.”

Continued Kelly, “Once I decided to make the move to TV, my familiarity with ESPN, combined with their high-quality production and vital role in college football, it was easily the best network suited for me.”

Kelly compiled a 46-7 record at Oregon from 2009-2012 including an appearance in the BCS National Championship Game in 2011. In his first two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, he guided the team to the NFC East title going 10-6 in 2013 and again in 2014, but things went south in 2015 when the Eagles went 7-9.

Last season, Kelly went to the San Francisco 49ers and after a Week 1 shutout of the Los Angeles Rams, the Niners went on a 13-game losing streak resulting in a 2-14 record. Kelly was subsequently fired and left without a job.

But now he can go on television and talk football without the stresses of coaching, dealing with reporters and coming up with a weekly game plan. By keeping a high profile at ESPN, Kelly can remain in the spotlight in case there’s an opening. Even with his last unsuccessful stint in San Francisco, Kelly would still be a candidate for jobs on the college level.

Back in March, Kelly auditioned to be a game analyst for Fox, but wasn’t hired. Now he gets to talk football on ESPN.


About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.