Kelly is 46-7 in four years as head coach at Oregon. The Ducks have been to four straight BCS bowl games — including a bid for the national championship against Auburn two seasons ago — and have won three Pac-12 championships.
He originally came to the Ducks in 2007 as offensive coordinator under Mike Bellotti. Before that, he was offensive coordinator at New Hampshire, where he started devising the innovative hurry-up offense the Ducks are known for today.
Oregon finished last season 12-1. The team was ranked No. 1 and appeared headed for another shot at the national championship until a 17-14 overtime loss to Stanford on Nov. 17.
The team will return two of its most dynamic players next season: redshirt freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota, and speedy sophomore running back De'Anthony Thomas, who ran for a 94-yard touchdown on the opening kickoff of the Fiesta Bowl.
But there may also be some challenges: Oregon still faces possible NCAA sanctions based on its use of recruiting services.
Reports surfaced in 2011 concerning payments Oregon made to two such services, including a $25,000 check sent to Willie Lyles and Houston-based Complete Scouting Services in 2010. Lyles had a relationship with a player who committed to Oregon.
Earlier this year, Oregon requested a summary disposition in the case. The school presented a report to the infractions committee outlining violations the school believed occurred and appropriate sanctions. But Yahoo Sports reported that the two sides could not reach an agreement and now the matter is headed for a hearing, as early as this spring.
And there's certainly no evidence Kelly has ruled out a future in the NFL.
It's hard to argue that his stock has fallen in any way because of the failed courtship by four teams, including his talks with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers early last year. Kelly obviously has a proven offensive mindset.
That said, there was already speculation that he might be waiting for his "dream" job with the New England Patriots, a seat currently held by Bill Belichick.
Only Kelly knows, and he's not saying.