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Chip Kelly fired after one season with the 49ers

Kelly just couldn’t compensate for finishing with the second worst record in the NFL.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Miami Dolphins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers have decided to move on without head coach Chip Kelly, the team announced Sunday night. After just his first season in the Bay Area, his mostly losing season — finishing just better than the Browns — he didn’t deserve a second chance in the eyes of the team.

“I have informed Trent and Chip of my decision to pursue new leadership for our football team,” said team owner Jed York. “These types of conversations are never easy, especially when they involve people you respect personally and professionally.”

York added, “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.”

Kelly’s expected firing is a part of “sweeping changes,” per Schefter, with general manager Trent Baalke expected to be fired as well. According to Jay Glazer of FOX, Baalke was informed of his firing Friday, but Kelly will have a meeting with ownership after the team’s Week 17 game when he’ll officially find out his fate.

San Francisco closes out its regular season on Sunday afternoon against the division rival Seattle Seahawks.

Kelly’s commitment to the team was never questioned, especially after he coached just two days after his father’s death in early December. And he offered no excuses in that week’s 26-6 loss to the Bears — which included 106 penalty yards and an offense that recorded only 54 yards the entire second half.

The 2016 season was just Kelly’s fourth in the NFL, coming after three years in Philadelphia. The coach had issues in and out of the locker room, but the issues he had with Eagles players didn’t seem to follow him to San Francisco. He publicly supported quarterback Colin Kaepernick early in the year, and he seemed to be invested in teaching him a brand new scheme and improving his turnover margin.

Even before the season, Kaepernick wanted a trade and then spent five weeks on the bench with “arm fatigue.” Despite Kelly’s best effort, it was reported in early December that the quarterback would be opting out of his 2017 option following the season, and the head coach would be starting all over — again. His overall NFL coaching record is 28–35 (.444), a far cry from being 46–7 (.868) in the NCAA.

As soon as Kelly’s future comes into question, the rumor mills go directly to him returning to college football. There is certainly interest from schools in bringing Kelly back into the college fold — Maryland's president, Wallace Loh, made several direct comments about trying to land the head coach in 2015.