Just ten days ago, Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens gave university boosters, fans and media the answer they all had hoped for regarding head coach Chip Kelly.
In a short press conference on January 7th and after lengthy interviews with the Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns and the Philadelphia Eagles, Mullens informed the masses Kelly was indeed staying put in Eugene to coach the Ducks in 2013.
Certainly, exciting news to fans across Duck nation.
Early Wednesday morning, Kelly ( 46-7 ) did an about face and shocked the nation by accepting the head coaching position with the Philadelphia Eagles who made it known Kelly was their primary target to take over for former coach Andy Reid.
According to Mullens, Kelly telephoned him shortly after 7:00 am Wednesday morning informing him he had changed his mind and accepted the Eagles offer to become their new head coach.
Mullens told reporters the phone call was short and to the point and left little doubt Kelly would reconsider what he was leaving behind at Oregon.
Shortly after the call, Kelly and Mullens made arrangements to meet with Duck players in the Moshofsky Center to inform the team of Kelly’s decision to leave the program.
Mullens said Kelly met with the team shortly after 8:00 am and kept his remarks to the team relatively short.
“Obviously, everyone was surprised,” said sophomore offensive lineman Hroniss Grasu. “I don’t think there was anyone who wasn’t surprised.”
“He related to me that he’s thought long and hard over the last 10 days, and in fact it was a challenge he always wanted to take,” said Mullens in his early afternoon press conference to a packed room of reporters.
“He wasn’t sure that opportunity would present itself again” Mullens explained. ”So he felt this was the right one at the right time….”
After meeting with the team, Kelly boarded a private plane in Eugene and flew to Philadelphia to be introduced to the Eagles media and fans.
“It was really tough,” Kelly said when asked by Philadelphia media members about his change of heart.
“I left a special, special place, and that’s what probably took me so long to make a decision on. The challenge is why I came, that’s what I’m excited about…but I left some great people back in Oregon, and that was the tough part — the human side of this whole thing.”
( Watch Part 1 of Rob Mullens press conference by clicking the video box above )