San Francisco 49ers

Chip Kelly finds a job ... in sports media

Former 49ers coach Chip Kelly will analyze college games for ESPN in 2017.
Former 49ers coach Chip Kelly will analyze college games for ESPN in 2017. The Bee

Chip Kelly, who liked to trade jabs with reporters when he was head coach of the 49ers and Eagles, now is a member of the media.

ESPN announced Friday they had signed Kelly, 53, to a multi-year deal as a college football studio analyst. Kelly spent 25 seasons as a college coach before joining the Eagles in 2013.

“Working in television will allow me to see the game from a different angle,” he said in a press release. “Simultaneously, I‘ll provide viewers an insight to the mindset of a coach and team while offering alternative views of various situations.”

His two-win campaign last year with the 49ers led to his firing at the end of the season, though most fans seemed to focus their anger more on general manager Trent Baalke, who also was ousted.

Kelly is known for his quick wit, including his lively -- and mostly good-natured -- sparring matches with reporters during his press conferences. He was perhaps most notable in 2016 for his defense of quarterback Colin Kaepernick, whose national anthem protest roiled the nation in a presidential election year.

The 49ers, however, remained calm. Kelly allowed the locker-room to handle the issue itself, and when it had he backed Kaepernick throughout the season, making him the starter in Week 7 and insisting he was not a distraction.

Kelly also auditioned for a job at FOX this offseason and was mentioned in conjunction with NFL offensive coordinator openings, including Kyle Shanahan's former post in Atlanta.

Kelly was let go with three years remaining on the four-year, $24 million contract he signed in 2016.

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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