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49ers officially fire head coach Chip Kelly after just one season

Jan 1, 2017 at 6:37 PM


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The San Francisco 49ers have announced that they have officially fired head coach Chip Kelly. Kelly was hired in January and took over for Jim Tomsula, who also only served as the head coach for one year.

Team CEO Jed York will address the media at 10:00 a.m. on Monday morning to discuss the firings of both Kelly and general manager Trent Baalke. Baalke was reportedly informed of the decision regarding his own job on Friday.

"I have informed Trent and Chip of my decision to pursue new leadership for our football team," said York via a statement issued by the team. "These types of conversations are never easy, especially when they involve people you respect personally and professionally.

"Trent gave this organization every ounce of effort he had over the last 12 years and his contributions were integral to the team reaching three straight NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl. I will forever be grateful for his dedication to the 49ers, and his friendship to me and my family. I wish Trent, Beth and their daughters the very best in whatever the future holds for their family.

RELATED 49ers announce that general manager Trent Baalke has been fired

"Chip has my gratitude for the job he did this year, navigating the team through some adverse circumstances. I look forward to watching his career continue to unfold, and wish him and Jill great success in life.

"Despite my feelings for Trent and Chip, I felt the decision to change our football leadership was absolutely necessary. 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."

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Kelly's firing makes the 49ers the only franchise during the modern era to fire back-to-back coaches after just one season. Coincidentally, the 49ers have done it twice during that timeframe with the previous occurrence taking place following the 1976 and 1977 seasons.

On Saturday night, Adam Schefter of ESPN first reported that, per a source, Kelly would be let go following the team's final game of the season.

"For the 49ers, this is what they deemed best," said NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport added on Saturday night. "Pull the plug on the Chip Kelly era, send him back to college, and start new with what they hope is a high powered head coach and a smart general manager."


Kelly led the 49ers to a 2-14 record this season and had lost 13 straight games – a franchise record – prior to the team's second victory against the Los Angeles Rams on December 24. Kelly had previously served as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles for three seasons. Prior to that, he was the head coach at the University of Oregon.

Kelly had three years remaining on his contract while Baalke had two. Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area has reported that the Denver Broncos would be the most likely landing spot for Baalke, who is still well respected around the league – perhaps as the Director of College Scouting.

For the third time in as many years, the 49ers will begin a search for a new head coach.

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