After all the drama, Kelly leaving Oregon for Philly

Oregon faces a future without Chip Kelly after all.

After dramatically opting to stay with the No. 2 Ducks a little more than a week ago, the enigmatic Kelly changed his mind

and decided to take an NFL job as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Kelly informed Oregon of his plans on Wednesday morning, shortly before the Eagles made it official.

Following Oregon's victory over Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl, Kelly flirted with three NFL teams: Philadelphia, Cleveland

and Buffalo. But after a wild weekend of interviews amid rumors and speculation, Kelly told the Ducks he was staying put.

Ducks athletic director Rob Mullens told reporters at the time that he was obviously "ecstatic" about Kelly's decision, but

Kelly himself never said anything publicly.

Mullens was not available for immediate comment but scheduled a news conference Wednesday afternoon to discuss Kelly's decision

and plans for the future. The school issued a statement from him on its website.

"I have great respect for Chip, consider him a friend and wish him the best of luck in the NFL. Oregon Athletics has executed

two successful head coach transitions in the past eighteen years and each time we continued our ascent. We are focused on

identifying a leader who is the right fit to guide Oregon Football," the statement said.

A person close to the team who spoke on the

condition of anonymity because Oregon had not yet formally announced

Kelly's departure

told The Associated Press early Wednesday that offensive

coordinator Mark Helfrich was still considered the "frontrunner."

Under Oregon state law, the school must also interview at least

one qualified minority candidate for the job.

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 Ducks

wound up No. 2 in the final AP poll after the Fiesta Bowl victory.

The Ducks will likely move forward with hiring a coach quickly, because signing day for football recruits is on Feb. 6.

Shortly after the move was announced, several potential recruits went to Twitter to express their surprise, including Nico

Falah, an offensive tackle from Bellflower, Calif., who wrote: "Chip Kelly left?!?! He was at my house 2 days ago."