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Chip Kelly: Florida likely moving on from head coach

By
The Sports Xchange
Former San Francisco 49ers coach Chip Kelly talks with an official in the third quarter at Levi's Stadium on December 11 in Santa Clara, Calif. Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI
Former San Francisco 49ers coach Chip Kelly talks with an official in the third quarter at Levi's Stadium on December 11 in Santa Clara, Calif. Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

The Florida Gators appear to be moving on from former college and NFL coach Chip Kelly as their potential next head coach.

An Orlando Sentinel source confirmed a report Friday by Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports that Kelly is out of the picture for the Gators.

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Florida officials met with Kelly last Sunday in his native New Hampshire and remained in contact with him earlier this week. Florida had kept its options open while engaged with Kelly and is now prepared to pursue those other candidates, multiple sources told Yahoo Sports.

Kelly met with UCLA officials regarding the school's vacant position in Los Angeles on Tuesday as the Bruins look to replace Jim Mora Jr., who was fired last Sunday. Kelly was expected to decide between Florida and UCLA.

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Florida officials are scheduled to meet with Central Florida coach Scott Frost's representatives in Orlando, Fla., this weekend as the Gators are preparing to move on in case Kelly chooses the UCLA job, sources told ESPN.

Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin would not confirm the reports, but told reporters last Sunday evening he remains confident the Gators will land a top coach.

"We're going to end up in a really good spot," Stricklin said.

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With Kelly likely out of the picture, the Gators are expected to focus on the 42-year-old Frost, the second-year coach of UCF who has been on Florida's radar as a top candidate to replace the fired Jim McElwain.

Frost's 15th-ranked Knights remained undefeated on Friday after they locked up a berth in the American Athletic Conference championship game with a thrilling 49-42 win over South Florida at Spectrum Stadium in Orlando.

"This place is really special and tonight I saw a glimpse of what it could be," Frost, who inherited a team that finished winless in 2015, said after the game. "We started at the bottom two years ago. I knew we could be good but not that it could happen this fast.

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"I got to be honest if you told me at the beginning of the year that I would be sitting here at 11-0. I would have called you crazy."

Frost also is expected to be a candidate at Nebraska, his alma mater, if the Cornhuskers decide to fire Mike Riley as head coach. Frost said after Friday's win that he would not be meeting with Gators officials on Saturday.

"I'm my representative, and I'm going to be with my wife and baby," Frost said. "Probably in the next 24 hours I will get rid of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram."

Kelly, an analyst at ESPN who turned 54 Saturday, went 46-7 from 2009 to 2012 at Oregon, which averaged 44.7 points a game during that span. His final team in 2012 went 12-1 and averaged 49.6 points per game.

Kelly was fired from two NFL jobs in the past two years. He was fired by the San Francisco 49ers in January after one season. He was 28-35 in four seasons as an NFL coach, including three with the Philadelphia Eagles.

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