ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Jan. 8 (UPI) -- After flirting with the University of Florida, two-time Super Bowl winning Coach Mike Shanahan said Tuesday he will remain with the Denver Broncos.
Shanahan is a close friend of Florida Athletic Directic Jeremy Foley, fueling speculation that he would consider moving to the college ranks and succeed Steve Spurrier at Florida.
"Jeremy Foley has been a friend of mine for 20-some years and I listened to him as a guy I respect an awful lot and listened to what the University of Florida had to offer," said Shanahan, who was an offensive coordinator at the school from 1980-83.
Shanahan, who has four years left on his contract with Denver, met with Foley on Monday and again Tuesday morning and was impressed enough to approach Broncos owner Pat Bowlen.
"My one question to Pat was 'do you want me here, do you feel comfortable with Mike Shanahan,'" Shanahan said. "When Pat said he wanted me here for the long haul, that's all I needed to know."
Bowlen addressed the media before Shanahan on Tuesday and made it clear he had no intention of losing his coach.
"He's got four years remaining on his contract and I expect him to be here for as long as he wants," Bowlen said. "In my opinion, he's the greatest coach in football."
Shanahan, 49, has a 72-40 record and a 7-2 postseason mark in seven years as Broncos coach and led them to back-to-back Super Bowl titles in 1997 and 1998. But since the retirement of
quarterback John Elway, the Broncos are just 25-23 with one playoff appearance over the last three years.
The Broncos were considered to be a Super Bowl contender this past season, but finished 8-8 and failed to make the playoffs.
Injuries were a big factor, as the team played mostly the whole season without receiver Ed McCaffrey and fullback Howard Griffith and running back Terrell Davis missed five games.
"I think I got the best job in pro sports and I wouldn't want to leave after an 8-8 season," Shanahan said.
Florida is seeking a coach to replace Spurrier, who resigned on Friday after 12 years at the school.
Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops, a former defensive coordinator with Florida, met with Foley on Monday but decided to stay with the Sooners.