The Bruins tacked two years onto their coach’s deal after winning nine games and making the Sun Bowl in 2022.
The Bruins are holding onto their head coach for a few more years.
UCLA football announced an extension with coach Chip Kelly on Friday, locking him up through 2027. Kelly signed an extension in January 2022 that was slated to keep him in Westwood through 2025, but he guided the Bruins to a 9-3 record and a top-25 ranking in the final AP Poll last fall.
“I am excited about our football program under the leadership of Coach Kelly and his talented staff,” athletic director Martin Jarmond said in a statement. “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.”
According to the Los Angeles Times’ Ben Bolch, Kelly will make $6.1 million in 2023 and 2024, up from the $5.8 million he was scheduled to make. Kelly is scheduled to make $6.2 million a year from 2025 to 2027, effectively bumping up his annual salary while chipping away at his retention bonuses.
Kelly’s buyout has also been restructured, as UCLA will have to pay him $8.5 million to dismiss him before December 2023. That figure drops to $4.27 million by December 2024, and it drops to zero by December 2025, per Bolch.
Conversely, Kelly would have to pay the school $3 million if he were to leave before the end of the 2023 season and $1.5 million before the end of the 2024 or 2025 seasons.
The Bruins initially hired Kelly back in November 2017, and they went 10-21 through his first three seasons. Over the past two years, however, UCLA went 17-8, with running back Zach Charbonnet putting up all-conference numbers and quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson breaking virtually every school passing record.
Kelly will have to replace both of his offensive stars this coming fall, although he got a head start by reeling in five-star quarterback Dante Moore and the nation’s No. 7 transfer class. The coaching veteran also brought in D’Anton Lynn at defensive coordinator, moving on from Bill McGovern after just one season.
If Kelly is unable to keep the offense humming or turn things around on defense before UCLA heads to the Big Ten in 2024, the athletic department has retained the flexibility to make a change at the top. If he can keep the Bruins winning at a high-level, though, Kelly has an even longer runway for his time in Westwood.