San Francisco 49ers hire Chip Kelly as head coach

Chip Kelly

The San Francisco 49ers have hired Chip Kelly as their new head coach, the team announced in a statement on Thursday.

“After a thorough search, [GM Trent Balke] and I are thrilled to announce Chip Kelly as the new head coach of the 49ers,” 49ers CEO Jed York wrote.

Kelly was fired by the Philadelphia Eagles prior to the end of the season. Shortly after his dismissal Kelly said he would prefer to stay in the NFL rather than taking the lead at another university program.

The 49ers job was quickly linked to Kelly after it was made available. He was also tied to possibly head coaching positions with the Tennessee Titans, New York Giants, and Cleveland Browns.

Kelly was one of two finalists for the 49ers job, along with former Broncos and Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

San Francisco went 5-11 under first-year coach Jim Tomsula and missed the playoffs for the second straight season.

49ers CEO Jed York announced Chip Kelly’s new position in a tweet sent out on Thursday afternoon.