Report: Chip Kelly Turned Down Offer from Tennessee

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    According to a report from Greg Schroeder of USA Today, Tennessee extended an offer to Chip Kelly to be the Vols’ next head football coach. And according to Schroeder, Kelly rejected Tennessee’s offer.

    The report claims that Tennessee, Florida, UCLA, and Nebraska have all made overtures or offers to Kelly, and those offers are somewhere in the $6 million per year range.

    And according to Schroeder’s source, Kelly turned down a recent offer from Tennessee. He also reportedly turned down an offer from Nebraska and is considered to be just looking at UCLA and Florida as of now.

    “While Florida is considered by many to be the best available job, Kelly has never been pegged as a conventional thinker,” Schroeder writes. “UCLA might appeal to Kelly for several reasons, including its location in the prime recruiting area of Southern California, a lesser spotlight compared to the fishbowl-like attention of the SEC jobs, and his familiarity with the Pac-12.”

    Schroeder also mentions that Florida officials, including the school’s president, met with Kelly on Sunday night just hours after UCLA announced they were firing head coach Jim Mora Jr. effectively immediately. Kelly reportedly expressed the desire to weigh his options after the meeting.

    So where does this leave the Vols? There are still plenty of big name coaches available, but most of them (except for the infamous Jon Gruden) are still coaching at their respective schools and cannot be interviewed at this time. One of Tennessee’s supposed top candidates, Dan Mullen, will be available the earliest to interview since his team plays Ole Miss on Thanksgiving on Thursday.

    We will keep you updated as more news develops.

    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.