New Hampshire

NH's Chip Kelly Fired as San Francisco 49ers Coach

He lasted only one season after three years as coach of the Philadelphia Eagles

The San Francisco 49ers fired coach Chip Kelly and general manager Trent Baalke on Sunday in the latest overhaul for a franchise that has fallen from perennial Super Bowl contender to the bottom of the standings in three seasons.

Kelly is a native of Manchester, New Hampshire, and worked as an assistant coach at the University of New Hampshire - his alma mater - for 14 seasons.

Team CEO Jed York announced the moves just hours after the Niners (2-14) matched a franchise record for losses in a season by losing the finale to Seattle 25-23.

''Despite my feelings for Trent and Chip, I felt the decision to change our football leadership was absolutely necessary,'' York said in a statement. ''The performance of this team has not lived up to my expectations or those of our fans, and that is truly disappointing. We all expected to see this team progress and develop as the season went on, but unfortunately that did not happen. That is why now is the time to find a new direction for this team.''

The team has been searching for success ever since cutting ties with Jim Harbaugh following an 8-8 record in 2014. Harbaugh had led San Francisco to three straight trips to the NFC title game and one Super Bowl appearance from 2011-13 in the only stretch of success in the past 15 years for a franchise that has won five Super Bowls.

Jim Tomsula was fired after going 5-11 in 2015 and things only got worse under Kelly, whose once bright coaching star has dimmed after being fired by Philadelphia and San Francisco the past two years.

Kelly entered the NFL as one of the most highly sought coaches after his success in college at Oregon. After winning 10 games in each of his first two seasons in Philadelphia in 2013-14, Kelly was fired with a 6-9 record for the Eagles late last season.

He then lasted just one season with the Niners, raising more questions about whether his up-tempo, spread offense that was so successful at Oregon can work in the NFL.

He never had much of a chance at success with San Francisco with a roster that featured Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick as the top two quarterbacks and had no playmakers on the outside.

''We don't control the roster, so I think the one thing is our job as coaches is to create an environment where our players have an opportunity to be successful, and that's what we have to do,'' Kelly said before getting the news in a meeting with York. ''I don't look at, 'I wish I had this. I wish I had that.' We were fortunate for the guys we had and we tried to coach them as hard as we could and as well as we could.''

The 49ers lost 13 straight games at one point this season and their only wins came against the Rams. San Francisco set franchise worsts for points, total yards and yards rushing allowed in a season and blew four double-digit leads in eight home games.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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