What is Chip Kelly’s Buyout if UCLA Fires Their Head Coach After USC Game?

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Exploring the future of UCLA’s head football coach Chip Kelly is a topic of high interest, especially with news breaking he could be fired after the upcoming USC game. With speculation about Kelly’s tenure at UCLA intensifying, we seek to understand the financial and contractual implications of his potential departure. This article delves into the specifics of Chip Kelly’s buyout if UCLA decides to fire him, examining the intricacies of his contract and salary in light of recent performances and expectations.

Chip Kelly, a name synonymous with innovative college football coaching, has been at the center of UCLA football since his appointment in 2017. While his initial years were marked by underperformance, a brief resurgence in 2022 gave hope to the Bruins’ faithful. However, the 2023 season has reignited questions about Kelly’s effectiveness and future with the team.

As UCLA braces for a potential shift in its coaching leadership, the focus turns to Kelly’s contractual obligations and the financial aspects of his tenure.

Chip Kelly Contract & Salary

In 2022, Kelly’s position with UCLA was strengthened through a contract extension, securing his role through 2027. This extension was a vote of confidence that also came with a notable increase in remuneration.

Kelly’s annual salary was set at $6.1 million for 2023 and 2024, before rising to $6.2 million annually from 2025 to 2027. This increase was seen as being in-line with his perceived value to the program, especially following a successful 9-3 season in 2022.

Chip Kelly Buyout

The financial complexities of Kelly’s contract become most evident in the buyout clause. If UCLA opts to dismiss Kelly prior to the end of 2023, the cost stands at a substantial $8.5 million. This figure, however, is structured to decrease over time, dropping to $4.27 million if he is fired after December 31, 2023 but before the same date in 2024, and eventually phasing out to zero by December 2025.

This staged reduction in the buyout clause reflects a strategic approach by UCLA, balancing financial prudence with the flexibility to make coaching changes if necessary. However, should Kelly be fired after UCLA’s game vs. UCLA this Saturday, the university will be on the hook for the entire $8.5 million.

UCLA could save themselves over $4 million by waiting until the new year, but with top jobs opening up at Texas A&M and Mississippi State, they could miss out on their favored candidate if they wait.

The eyes of the college football world will be focused on UCLA after their game on Saturday, with Chip Kelly’s reign at head coach in the balance.


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