PHILADELPHIA (CBS) --- According to a source with direct knowledge of the situation, University of Florida Athletic Director Jeremy Foley will contact Eagles head coach Chip Kelly as early as Tuesday of this week to "kick the tires" on Kelly's interest in returning to the college scene.
The source went on to say, "Foley does not plan to officially interview Kelly yet, but will simply gauge Kelly's interest and make his first pitch."
Kelly's name has been brought up before with other college coaching vacancies, but this source actually had the AD ready for action with a timeline.
Florida's head coaching spot officially opened up when Will Muschamp was let go, following the Gators' 24-19 loss to Florida State on Saturday night. During his four years in Gainesville, Muschamp went 28-21 and just 10-13 over his last two seasons. Despite the school's coaching vacancy being so fresh, the source said Foley's interest in Kelly "goes as far back as August."
A return to college for Kelly wouldn't be the biggest surprise to some considering his success at Oregon and his odd departure from Eugene. Kelly was thought to be off the market after a lengthy nine hour interview with the Philadelphia Eagles on January 5th, 2013. Furthermore, afterwards Kelly told Oregon Big-Wig Phil Knight he was staying with the Ducks. However, ten days later, Kelly was surprisingly hired by the Eagles. And just ten days after that, the NCAA ended a 27-month investigation by punishing Oregon with sanctions for recruiting violations. Those violations will expire on Christmas Day.
In Kelly's defense, he says he's in the NFL to stay.
According to Kelly, he "burned the boats" when asked about a possible return to college at his introductory press conference with the Eagles in January of 2013. It was a reference to Spanish Conquistador Hernan Cortez, who burned his ships after arriving in the New World to let his men know there would be no going back to Spain. Conquer or die.
Would he go?
Well, why would a coach who has started his NFL career going 19-9, on the verge of winning his second division title in two years, want to rebuild his boats and even entertain the idea of going back to college? I don't know. More money? Less taxing life-style? Better chance at long-term job security? Getting to be the God of a campus? Who knows.
As far as Philadelphia goes, let's hope he's stays put, at least, a little bit longer.
Marc Farzetta is a host on 94.1 WIP-FM. Follow him on Twitter @MarcFarzetta.
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