Kelly also had been considering the vacant Florida job, sources previously told ESPN.
“I am thrilled to welcome Chip Kelly to Westwood,” said UCLA director of athletics Dan Guerrero in a statement. “His success speaks for itself, but more than that, I firmly believe that his passion for the game and his innovative approach to coaching student-athletes make him the perfect fit for our program. ‘Champions Made Here’ is more than just a mantra at UCLA, and I’m confident that Chip will lead UCLA Football back to competing for championships. I’d like to thank Josh Rebholz, Casey Wasserman and Troy Aikman for their input during this process, as their candor, experience and support were invaluable.”
Kelly will be formally introduced as the Bruins’ head coach on the UCLA campus on Monday afternoon.
“It is an absolute honor to join the Bruin Family, and I am grateful to Chancellor [Gene] Block and to Dan Guerrero for this incredible opportunity,” Kelly said in a statement. “UCLA is a world-class institution with a distinguished history in athletics, and we will do our part to uphold its tradition of excellence.”
The Bruins have been looking for a new head coach since Jim Mora was fired Nov. 19, a day after a third straight loss to USC. He had been with the Bruins for six seasons. Offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch was named interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
The Kelly hiring will bring back a well-recognized name to the Pac 12.
Kelly last coached collegiately at Oregon, going 46-7 with the Ducks from 2009 to 2012. Known as an offensive innovator while there, his up-tempo offenses averaged 44.7 points per game during that span. He led Oregon to big bowls in each of his four seasons: the Rose Bowl, BCS title game, Rose Bowl and Fiesta Bowl, respectively.
Kelly left Oregon for the NFL shortly before NCAA sanctions were handed down. He was slapped with “failure to monitor” in the Will Lyles case after he was accused of paying $25,000 to the 7-on-7 coach in exchange for him guiding players to the Ducks. The NCAA ruled that Kelly wasn’t aware of Lyles’ actions but said he was responsible for ensuring his program was in compliance. Kelly also was handed an 18-month show-cause penalty, which expired in late 2014.