Chip Kelly: Media Darling?

As rumors swirl around the University of Oregon campus about the potential departure of football head coach Chip Kelly to the NFL, there is one big question mark in his employability; his media relations.  Coach Kelly has more than proved his expertise on the football field, by producing 4 consecutive years of BCS bowl bound teams and National Title contenders, but his weakness lies off the field.  Kelly has been criticized for his inability, and unwillingness to communicate with the media.  As the figure head of an organization, like it or not, media relations is a part of the job.  A head football coach is expected to provide post practice and post game interviews and represent his team in the most positive light.  A head coach that is good with the media is much more likely to have a longer career, than one who shuns them.  Interpersonal communication skills cannot be over looked when investing millions of dollars into a salary for your coach.  Owners and general managers expect those millions to be more than enough pay for a few minutes of answering questions in front of a camera. The media has such a large impact on public perception of a team and of a head coach.  Coaches rarely can outlast a media firestorm and being able to effectively communicate with the media is one of the best ways to mediate such a situation. Kelly’s quick wit may come back to bite him but its fair to say his job is safe with 10 wins a year.  They say dress for the job you want, but if Kelly hopes to make the jump to the next level, maybe he should consider speaking for the job he has.


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