With contract set to expire after 2022 season, UCLA and Chip Kelly agree to extension

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Chip Kelly will not be entering the 2022 season in the last year of his contract.

UCLA announced Friday that Kelly had signed a four-year extension with the school. Kelly's contract had just one more season on it and his buyout was set to drop to nothing on Sunday. It would have been extremely rare for Kelly to begin next season without a contract stretching beyond 2022.

"We are extremely appreciative of the entire UCLA administration for their support of our football program. We have a tremendous amount of gratitude for our players and staff. Their tireless work, and commitment to our vision has built a great foundation. We are excited to continue to build this program into something that makes the UCLA fanbase proud," Kelly said in a school statement.

UCLA went 8-4 in 2021 and was set to play in the Holiday Bowl against NC State, though that game was canceled because of COVID-19 cases among Bruins players.

The extension is through the 2025 season. Kelly's contract status made him mentioned as a potential candidate at his old employer Oregon after Mario Cristobal left to go to Miami. Oregon hired Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning.

UCLA is 18-25 in Kelly’s four seasons with the school. UCLA was Kelly’s first job back in college after he spent four seasons at Oregon and went 46-7 before heading to the NFL.

"This new contract represents the commitment, stability and investment needed to continue the upward trajectory of our football program. Since joining UCLA, our football team's winning percentage has increased every year, including increased momentum in recruiting and strategic use of the transfer portal," UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond said.

Kelly's new deal comes after UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson announced that he was staying with the Bruins for a fifth season. Thompson-Robinson has steadily improved each season at UCLA and completed over 60% of his passes and accounted for 30 total TDs in 2021. Thompson-Robinson announced that he wasn't heading to the NFL after former UCF QB Dillon Gabriel switched transfer destinations. Gabriel had committed to UCLA but switched to Oklahoma after Caleb Williams entered the transfer portal.