WESTWOOD—After two straight seasons in which the UCLA Bruins football program has become relevant nationally, they extended Bruins Head Coach Chip Kelly’s contract until 2027.
Kelly, who led UCLA to a mark of 9-4, concluding with a heartbreaking 37-34 loss in the Sun Bowl, has brought discipline while revamping the Bruins offense over his tenure. UCLA averaged a scorching 39 points per game last season.
In addition, the 2022 team became the school’s first to average more than 500 yards of total offense. It finished fourth in the nation at 503.6. UCLA was the only FBS team with 3,463 passing yards and 3,084 rushing yards.
Kelly is 27-29 through five seasons, but is 16-8 in the past two years. He took over after Jim Mora Jr. was fired in 2017 with a roster predominantly filled with underclassmen his first two seasons.
The Bruins were 3-9 in Kelly’s first year in 2018 and 4-8 the following season. During the shortened 2020 season, a turnaround began with a 3-4 mark. Kelly is 72-36 as a college coach, signed a four-year contract last year.
The Bruins averaged 237.2 rushing yards per game, ranking sixth nationally and first in the Pac-12. Charbonnet averaged a conference-best 135.9 rushing yards and an FBS-leading 168.0 all-purpose yards.
Due in large part to the Bruins three-headed monster, Quarterback Dorian Thompson, Robinson Wide Receiver Jake Bobo and Running Back Zach Charbonnet. His winning percentage increased in each of his five seasons.
Last season was the first time since 2014, the No. 21 Bruins were ranked in the final AP Top 25 and AFCA Coaches polls.
“The football program is on an upward trajectory, both on the field and in the classroom. Coach Kelly and his staff have done a tremendous job developing young men as demonstrated by their academic excellence,” said UCLA Athletic Director Martin Jarmond in a statement.
Kelly will make $6.1 million during the 2023 and 2024 seasons before getting bumped up to $6.2 million per season in 2025, 2026 and 2027.
His presence and coaching prowess transformed UCLA’S defense into a ferocious beast. They held teams to 130.3 rushing yards per game. Edge rusher Laiatu Latu, who was named a College Football Comeback Player of the Year Award winner in his first year since transferring from Washington, had 10.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.
UCLA will go into its final season in the Pac-12 with plenty of questions. The Bruins were fifth in the nation in total offense. Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson graduated and running back Zach Charbonnet left early for the NFL draft.
Kelly will have his third defensive coordinator in as many seasons after hiring D’Anton Lynn. Chip started with a group of Freshmen, that he may be able to mold into a success.