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Chip Kelly Went From Being Phil Knight’s Buddy To Working For His Direct Competitor

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Chip Kelly rose to prominence getting a lot of production out of players that weren’t making waves on the national scene. His time at Oregon raised his profile enough to land him multiple jobs coaching in the NFL. He failed to find lasting success.

In previous years, he expressed an unwillingness to return to the collegiate ranks. But after another NFL job failed to materialize, he softened on that stance. Oregon regularly expressed interest in having him back, but the timing didn’t line up.

Now, Kelly finds himself directly competing against his former program.

Notably, Kelly is now sponsored by Under Armour, rather than Nike.

Phil Knight, who for all intents and purposes is Nike, maintained a great relationship with Kelly throughout his entire career. But how might that change now that he’s working for a PAC 12 rival, and his direct business competitor?

Now Kelly will go head-to-head with USC in the fertile southern California territory. If he is able to return the UCLA Bruins to prominence, he might have another chance to establish a dynasty in collegiate football.

We’ve seen coaches like Nick Saban fail in the NFL, then return to college football and find more success than ever before. Kelly might be able to find similar success at a major program like UCLA.

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