It doesn't look as if Chip Kelly will be Florida's football coach after all.
The Gators' search to replace Jim McElwain has moved on from the former Oregon coach, Yahoo Sports reported Friday. UCLA also has been pursuing Kelly.
UF had a high-profile courtship of Kelly, who was 46-7 in four seasons at Oregon before jumping to the NFL. A handful of Florida officials, including university president Kent Fuchs and athletic director Scott Stricklin, flew to meet Kelly in his native New Hampshire on Sunday. No contract was offered for him to sign, but their interest was clear.
Six days later, the possibility of a Kelly-Florida union seems dead.
Expect Florida to go after UCF coach Scott Frost, a former Kelly assistant at Oregon. Frost, 42, needed only two seasons to take a winless program to an 11-0 start after Friday's win over USF and a top-15 national ranking. His Knights entered Friday's game with the country's top scoring offense (48.2 points per game). Frost's alma mater, Nebraska, is also expected to pursue him.
Another potential candidate — Mississippi State coach and former Gators assistant Dan Mullen — indicated Thursday night that he might not be in the mix.
"I'm very, very happy here," Mullen told reporters after a 31-28 loss to rival Ole Miss. "I'm happy with what we've built. I have a great president and a great administration. If you look at the fan base we have here and the program that we've built, I think it's pretty special.
"I'm fortunate to be the head coach. (Athletic director) John (Cohen) and (MSU president) Dr. (Mark) Keenum have both told me they want me to continue to be the head coach here. That's something I'll talk with them about over the next coming days, I'm sure, is what we can continue to build the program in the right direction."
Contact Matt Baker at [email protected] Follow @MBakerTBTimes.