Saturday, February 16, 2013

Looking Back On Chip Kelly

Before I get into my thoughts on Chip leaving, let's give credit to the man.  He turned Oregon into a top 10 program, and made them not only a perennial national championship contender, but also one of the "it" programs for top recruits across the nation to consider.

In four years at Oregon he went 46-7 and played in a BCS bowl game in each of those four years, including wins in the 2011 Rose Bowl and 2012 Fiesta Bowl, and an appearance in the 2010 national championship game.  

Who would've seen that coming if you were one of the thousands in attendance on a wet November day in 1983, as you watched your Oregon Ducks play the beavers to a scoreless tie?  Fortunately I wasn't even alive yet to witness such a thing.  I've had it pretty good as a Duck fan, I must admit.

With his unique play calling and fast paced offense, Chip made Oregon one of the most exciting teams in the nation to watch.  And that appealed to top recruits everywhere, who watched Oregon on t.v. thinks to the Ducks increased exposure, and wanted to come play in this offense.  

Blowing teams out and putting up 50 or more points a game became part of the norm.

But when the players came to Oregon, it didn't matter how many stars they had next to their name, they all had to buy into Chip's system.  Nobody was bigger than the program, or more important than the next guy.  If you didn't give it your all in practice, you weren't playing.

With his attention to detail in practice, the way he ran practice, and his emphasis on "winning the day" and "finish strong," as well as having his players all buy in, Oregon was able to be very successful.  

Though his time at Oregon was short, Chip left behind a lasting legacy at Oregon.  He made Oregon fun to watch to the casual fan, turned them into a dominating force (unstoppable at times), and over a four year stretch, took Oregon to heights once seemed unthinkable.

He will certainly go down as probably the greatest coach in Oregon history.  The bar has been set.     

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