Chip Kelly, with the help of Nike, has put the Oregon Ducks football program amongst the elite of the elite. Each year the Ducks are one of the few teams expected to compete for the coveted BCS National Championship.
Despite all of the success and all of the attention Kelly has brought to the program, some boosters are reportedly ready for a change at the top of their beloved team.
John Locanthi of the Willamette Week chronicled the declining booster support for Kelly.
A number of substantial Oregon football boosters, many of whom requested anonymity, expressed a widespread annoyance with Kelly. The coach with the highest winning percentage (45-7, 86.5 percent) among BCS conference coaches is at odds with many of those closest to the Oregon program. Although most would agree Kelly is an extraordinary coach, he doesn’t care much for the many other obligations that come with his job.
“Some of the college boosters have gone as far as to say, ‘I hope he does leave so we can get somebody who appreciates the fans,’” says Jack Roberts, a former Oregon labor commissioner and Oregon alumnus.
Part of the job description for a college football head coach is constantly providing boosters with the attention they need. These guys, after all, are donating millions of dollars to help pay each coach and their staff’s salaries.
Off-seasons are filled with booster club meetings, speaking engagements and glad-handing fans; however Kelly has shown that keeping the money-men happy is not on his priority list.
The rumors have been swirling that he will take his high-octane offense to the big leagues following the Ducks’ Fiesta Bowl game against Kansas State. Whether or not that happens, one thing is for sure: Kelly is quickly building a wall between him and the important ‘Joes’ on the other side.