DALLAS — Defeat didn’t last long for the University of Oregon Ducks and their head coach Chip Kelly as the second-year mentor was named the American Football Coaches Association Coach of the Year a day after UO fell to Auburn on a last-second field goal in the BCS Championship Game.
Kelly’s fifth national coach of the year honor of the season is arguably his most prestigious. The AFCA award has been presented since 1935 and is voted on exclusively by active coaches at four-year institutions. No Oregon head coach had ever been selected AFCA Coach of the Year award prior to this season.
The Manchester, N.H., native, who became the first Pac-10 coach to lead his team to conference championships in each of his first two seasons, has a career mark of 22-4, including a 17-1 record in Pac-10 play. Oregon’s No. 3 final ranking was the second-highest in school history behind the 2001 team that went 11-1 and finished No. 2.