Former Oregon coach Chip Kelly has reportedly turned down advances by Tennessee to become the Vols’ next head coach. Instead, he will only consider Tennessee’s SEC East rival Florida and UCLA.
According to a report from USA Today’s George Schroeder, Kelly also turned away Nebraska. He has reportedly met with Florida and UCLA this week and is expected to make a final decision soon.
Kelly will be paid in the neighborhood of $6M per year by whoever he chooses, per Schroeder’s report.
One potential factor in Florida’s favor is that the Gators are a Nike school while UCLA is associated with Under Armour. Following his years in Oregon, Kelly is still very close with Nike founder Phil Knight. However, Schroeder indicated that the UA hurdle could be worked around if UCLA is Kelly’s choice.
Other than ESPN’s Jon Gruden, a primary candidate for the Tennessee job has not emerged. The Vols fired Butch Jones earlier this month.