TAMPA — The coaching search may be over. KGQ, Portland’s NBC affiliate, is reporting that the Oregon Ducks head coach is on his way to rejoining his old running back LeGarrette Blount as the head coach of the Buccaneers.
Kelly has basically revived the University of Oregon in his three years as the head coach. Just three weeks ago he reached a peak when the Ducks beat the Wisconsin Badgers in the Rose Bowl, Oregon’s first such win in 95 years. Kelly also led the Ducks to last year’s Nation Championship game where they fell short of winning a title.
Kelly is now reportedly on his way to joining the division the victor of that game now resides.
But the deal isn’t done yet. Oregon is a powerhouse in the NCAA and the Pac-10 and will bend over backwards to keep their head coach in place. The Buccaneers can offer Kelly a deal but the Ducks can and have the means to match whatever the Buccaneers offer.
The Bucs are looking for two things: a winner and someone who is a complete shift from Raheem Morris, who ended his coaching career in Tampa going 4-12. Kelly is exactly that. He’s a college coach porting his system over to the NFL and he is a winner. In each of his three years at Oregon, he has led the Ducks to a BCS Bowl game.
But there is some hesitation as to whether a college coach can work. With the notable exception of Jim Harbaugh and to an extent Nick Saban, no college coach has had success in the NFL and there have been some big names to try.
Hopefully for Bucs fans if Kelly is indeed coming to Tampa, his name will be matched with Harbaugh and Saban and not Butch Davis and Steve Spurrier.