By Alex Donno

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Former Oregon, Eagles, and 49ers head coach Chip Kelly has become the hottest candidate for college football’s biggest vacancies.

According to Edgar Thompson of the Orlando Sentinel, the quest for Kelly is now a two horse race between Florida and UCLA:

The L.A. Times reported Kelly met with a contingent of athletics officials from UCLA as the Bruins look to replace Jim Mora Jr.

The meeting comes two days after UF flew to meet Kelly in his native New Hampshire. Officials returned Sunday night without a deal in place to make him the Gators’ next head coach. No formal offer was presented, according to another source on the condition of anonymity.

ESPN reporter Mark Schlabach posted on Twitter Tuesday that Kelly’s decision is expected “in coming days.”

The Gators are looking to make a big splash with their next head coaching hire, after parting ways with Jim McElwain in October. UCLA’s job came open on Sunday, when they fired Jim Mora.

While the program prestige is superior at Florida over UCLA, the Bruins could add extra appeal to Kelly by the “fit” they provide. Kelly’s best success as a head coach came in the PAC 12 with Oregon, where he won three conference titles and went 46-7. The recruiting relationships he established in the West Coast while at Oregon could be invaluable at UCLA, while not a big factor in the state of Florida.

 

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