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Oregon's Chip Kelly turns down Tampa Bay Buccaneers coaching job

January 23, 2012 |  7:38 am

Chip Kelly

Chip Kelly and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were in the process of finalizing a deal that would make him head coach of the NFL franchise late Sunday night when Kelly apparently had a sudden change of heart.

So now the man who has led the Oregon Ducks to Pac-10/12 titles the last three years will be staying in Eugene.

"His heart is with college football and Oregon and he's no longer being considered,'' Buccaneers General Manager Mark Dominik told the Tampa Bay Times on Monday.

Kelly reportedly had a secret meeting with Dominik and several members of the Glazer family, which owns the Buccaneers, last week. Several sources reported that Kelly had canceled a recruiting trip to Sacramento and was attempting to finalize a deal to replace the fired Raheem Morris as Tampa Bay's coach on Sunday night.

But Kelly apparently changed his mind after the story broke nationally on Sunday night. So now the man who has coached in the three BCS games in as many years -- two Rose Bowls and the BCS championship game -- will turn his focus back to the Ducks and the looming Feb. 1 national signing day.

Meanwhile the Buccaneers will resume their coaching search. They already have interviewed at least eight candidates, including former Green Bay Packers coach Mike Sherman, former Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress, veteran NFL coach Marty Schottenheimer and former Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, who has since taken the Miami Dolphins coaching job.

Former Dallas Cowboys coach and current Houston defensive coordinator Wade Phillips canceled an interview with Tampa Bay to concentrate on the Texans' playoff game with the Baltimore Ravens last week.


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Photo: Chip Kelly. Credit: Jae C. Hong / Associated Press