ORLANDO, Fla. – Coach Chip Kelly reiterated on Wednesday he has no plan to return to the college ranks.
When asked if intends to remain with the 49ers, Kelly answered, “Yep. So we're all done with that, I hope."
He was asked if there is any chance he’ll become Oregon’s next head coach, Kelly shook his head and said, “No.”
Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens announced the firing of head coach Mark Helfrich on Tuesday.
Kelly held with the Ducks from 2009 to ’12 before leaving to become head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. The 49ers are 1-10 in Kelly’s first season. The 49ers hired Kelly just two weeks after the Eagles fired him in late-December.
Oregon compiled a 46-7 record under Kelly. In Helfrich’s four seasons, the Ducks went 37-16. Helfrich served as an assistant under Kelly.
“I just felt bad for Mark. I love him like a brother,” Kelly said. “He’s a tremendous person. He’s a hell of a football coach, but he’s an even better person. Just felt for him and the rest of the guys on that staff. It’s an unfortunate thing that goes on in this profession. We all know about it when we sign up, but when it happens you’re still taken aback by it.”
Kelly said he spoke with Helfrich on Wednesday morning. He said he has not spoken with anyone associated with the university. He said he has not offered a recommendation on whom should become the next head coach nor did he know if he will be asked to give a recommendation.
“I love everybody associated with the university. They were fantastic,” Kelly said. “If I can help them, I can help them. My thoughts are with Helf right now.”