49ers Hire Chip Kelly as Head Coach

49ers Hire Chip Kelly as Head Coach

The San Francisco 49ers and the New York Giants both hired head coaches on Thursday, as the 49ers announced the hiring of Chip Kelly while the Giants announced the hiring of Ben McAdoo. Niners general manager Jed York announced via his Twitter today that the team's search, which had reportedly dwindled down to Kelly and former Broncos and Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, ended with Kelly being given the position.

Kelly wasn't connected, at least publicly, to any of the NFL's six other head-coaching vacancies after the Eagles fired him December 29.

Prior to becoming a head coach in the NFL, Kelly had a highly successful career at the college level starting at the University of New Hampshire and then moving over to the University of Oregon.

A 5-11 team has more problems than just quarterback, of course, but if nothing else, the hiring of Kelly makes the 49ers interesting again.

Maybe, just maybe, this is simply about football and Baalke and CEO Jed York wanting to see what Kelly can do as a coach rather than as a self-contained football czar.

Kelly won't be introduced in a news conference until next week based on schedules. It's clear that Kelly has always been a fan of Kaepernick and Kaepernick had long been a rumored target for the Eagles in Philadelphia when Kelly was the coach there. "You can't trick players or pretend to be someone you're not if the results aren't there", Boykin told the Pittsburgh Tribune. He noted that the high-speed play Kelly is known for may mean a new kind of fitness training for the players.

The 49ers reached three straight NFC championship games and a Super Bowl under Harbaugh, losing by three points to his older brother, John, and the Baltimore Ravens in the championship after the 2012 season to miss the franchise's sixth Lombardi Trophy.

Kelly's appointment will be intriguing, after he left the Eagles amid huge player discontent.

Kelly, who had already released explosive wide receiver DeSean Jackson the previous season, traded running back LeSean McCoy to Buffalo for linebacker Kiko Alonso and quarterback Nick Foles to the St. Louis Rams for Sam Bradford. Eric Mangini held that role a year ago and is still under contract, as are all but three assistants who have been hired elsewhere.

Kelly was given control over personnel and roster decisions in Philadelphia during the 2015 season after winning a power struggle with Howard Roseman inside the organization. He's recovering well from all injuries, according to the source, and doctors will get a chance to look at his thumb Friday when he receives a new cast. "I think coaching the team is enough responsibility for a guy who hadn't grown up really in the National Football League".

There's more than enough time for Baalke and Kelly to become friendly before the start of the 2016 season, obviously.

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