Willamette Week: How Chip Kelly’s focus on football ruffles boosters’ feathers

Chip Kelly chats with a group of boosters including Phil Knight before Oregon's matchup with Wisconsin in the 2012 Rose Bowl. (Alex McDougall/Oregon Daily Emerald)

Chip Kelly chats with a group of boosters including Phil Knight before Oregon's matchup with Wisconsin in the 2012 Rose Bowl. (Alex McDougall/Oregon Daily Emerald)

Posted by McKenna Brown on Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 9:51 am.

On Wednesday, Willamette Week published an in-depth look at Chip Kelly’s career at Oregon, both as a coach on the field and as an invaluable money generator off it.

UO alum John Locanthi spoke to boosters, former coaches and players and members of the media to paint a portrait of a coach whose sole focus is football — not that that will come as much of a surprise to Duck fans.

What may come as a surprise is that Oregon boosters are none too pleased with the innovative coach. They say he has neglected the fundraising and glad-handing duties that an Oregon head coach is traditionally expected to perform, and go so far as to say they “hope he does leave (for the NFL) so we can get somebody who appreciates the fans.”

Kelly’s former players, though, are quick to lavish praise on the coach. Justin Fossbender, a wide receiver under Kelly during his early days at Columbia University, says, “Whatever he was doing, he dropped it if you needed him.” Former Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon expressed similar sentiments.

The article makes one thing very clear: Kelly’s unconventional approach to football has made him the most talked about coach in the country. Most expect him to depart for the NFL after this season; who knew that so many people can’t wait to see him leave?

Read the full story at Willamette Week →



  • The guy

    Did they get Ryan’s approval to use McDougall’s photo?

  • http://www.facebook.com/gary.mcauley.39 Gary McAuley

    Well, I know a few alumni and a few boosters, and I can’t name one who would claim they look forward to Chip Kelly leaving as coach.

  • Sfduck

    The boosters who want him gone can jump down my chimney and lick a candy cane

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Patrick-Lavis/100000111768242 Mark Patrick Lavis

    Just because there’s a culture of head football coaches being “super-friendly” with boosters, especially prevalent in Texas and the South, doesn’t mean Chip should contour to that mold. A football coach is hired to coach the football team, let the AD be the super-friendly representative of the football program to boosters. Let Chip be.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rollr Rockne Andrew Roll

    Mark, I couldn’t agree more.

  • cradlemom

    sounds like some wealthy egos are hurting……