The Gators and the big-name coach have begun the mutual-exploration phase.
Yahoo! Sports’ Pete Thamel reports that Florida and Chip Kelly have begun the “mutual exploration” phase of the head coaching search.
Thamel reports that it’s unclear how much interest the Gators have in Kelly – and vice versa – but both sides appear to be intrigued.
This comes as somewhat of a surprise, considering Kelly wasn’t believed to have serious interest in coaching in the SEC, but Florida being more of an “East Coast” type school makes it easier.
From Yahoo! Sports:
Kelly wasn’t thought to be intrigued by SEC jobs, but Florida presents a different dynamic as it has more of Kelly’s preferred East Coast vibe. For now, it’s not known if each party is completely sold on each other. But the mutual exploration process is underway.***
The early read on how administrators at Florida and the SEC perceive the recruiting transgressions during Kelly’s tenure at Oregon is positive for the coach. A safe way to view Kelly’s NCAA issues is that not all show causes are created equally, and his issues at Oregon don’t appear to be a significant hindrance to his potential hiring at Florida. If there were a pattern of misbehavior, it would likely be a bigger issue.
Thamel reports that Scott Frost and Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen are the other two major candidates.
You can view his full report here.