An optimist Chip Kelly is introduced as a UCLA soccer coach



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Chip Kelly stood up and smiled at the cameras, grabbing the UCLA football shirt with his last name and the number 1 on the back.

The number connotes a place that the Bruins have not occupied in the Pac-12 Conference in almost two decades. They have not finished at the top of a national poll since they won their only national championship, in 1954.

The hiring of Kelly as coach of UCLA, who were close to the process said Monday, was intended to help the Bruins to reach the top of college football once again. [19659002] "The conference championships are great," said Troy Aikman, a former UCLA quarterback and Hall of Famer who was a leading voice on the search committee, after Kelly was presented on campus, " but I want us to compete for national championships. " [19659005] Kelly made no grandiose promises during a lively press conference with more than 300 donors, season bearers and media inside an ostentatious Pauley Pavilion club room. The coach, known as an offensive innovator, offered a series of witty phrases but few details, except to suggest that he intended to win in his first season.

"We'll open next year and let's not say, in two or three years when we have our boys here …", said Kelly, a former Oregon coach who recently signed a contract for five years and $ 23.3 million with the Bruins. "Today I met my boys and I'm excited about the guys who are currently part of this program."

UCLA could have up to nine starters in offense and defense of the team awaiting the fate of the bowl after finishing regular season 6-6 overall and 4-5 in Pac-12. Among those reflecting on their future is Junior Field Marshal Josh Rosen, who would likely be one of the NFL's top picks if he decided to give up his final eligibility season.

Kelly said he met with his players on Monday morning, but they would not participate in bowl preparation, except to support the players or interim coach Jedd Fisch, as necessary. Fisch and the current team will remain in the bowl but will face uncertain futures.

John Wooden referred when asked about his new coaching staff.

"There was a great coach who once said:" Be quick, but do not rush, "Kelly said of the legendary UCLA basketball coach who won 10 national titles. in its end 12 seasons. "And that's really the philosophy that we're going to follow."

When asked if he would use the same rush-and-wear-the-defense scheme he led in Oregon, Kelly joked, "No, those players have graduated."

Aikman praised Kelly, who turned 54 on Saturday, as the best coach at UCLA. He arrived just six days after the abrupt dismissal of coach Jim Mora, who finished 46-30 in six seasons but only won 10 of his last 27 games.

Bruins athletic director Dan Guerrero said Mora's dismissal before the end of the season allowed UCLA to pursue Kelly, who also met with Florida about his coaching vacancy. Kelly was widely considered the most coveted college coaching candidate in the country after going 46-7 in four seasons in Oregon since 2009-2012.

Guerrero said he first met with Kelly on November 20 in San Francisco as part of a contingent UCLA that also included Aikman, senior badociate athletic director Josh Rebholz and Chancellor Gene Block. Big donor Casey Wbaderman was also part of the UCLA search committee.

"As you know, I hired a coach who previously had a history of NCAA problems and came here and it was a fulfillment dream. " Guerrero said, "so I do not anticipate any problem about it."

Guerrero said the purchase of $ 12 million that UCLA gave Mora would not have been possible at the beginning of his term as sports director, which began in 2002; funds from the school's record $ 280 million contract with Under Armor and its new media badociations made the transaction possible.

Guerrero acknowledged that UCLA expected a return on its investment through increased season ticket sales from an enthusiastic fan base.

"There were already peaks that we are very happy to see." Guerrero said, "but of course it's a long process and we hope we have many people who may have returned to the fold"

Whereas Kelly was 33-3 in conference games while in Oregon "If you look at the record of Chip Kelly at this conference, "said Cade McNown, the Bruins' last quarterback to play the Rose Bowl, on January 1, 1999." It's hard enough to argue that he will not succeed in this conference again. "

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