Is Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly a candidate for the Bucs' head coaching job?
David Haugh, a columnist for the Chicago Tribune, on Wednesday reported on his morning radio show on 670 The Score that Kelly is a coach of interest for the Bucs identified by a search firm.
Bucs general manager Jason Licht announced Monday that he will conduct the interview process to find a new head coach but will also utilize a search firm, Korn-Ferry, for background checks. Licht said the search firm will not be deciding on which coach to hire.
When confronted with this report, those close to the process of finding a head coach with the Bucs indicated to the Times that Kelly is not a candidate.
It's possible that Korn-Ferry is determining interest from possible head-coaching candidates. Or Kelly's agent may be doing his job of creating leverage for his client. Who knows?
But the Bucs don't appear to be focused on Kelly. Licht will begin his pursuit in Kansas City today, where he will interview Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.
Kelly flirted with jumping to the NFL after the 2012 season, interviewing with the Eagles.
The report said the Glazers are known for "aiming high for coaching candidates and are said to be considering paying their head coach as much as $10-million per season."
That may be true for someone like Michigan's Jim Harbaugh, but they weren't willing to do it for Jon Gruden, so it's unlikely they would open the vault for Kelly.
Kelly, 57, is 81-57 in nine seasons at Notre Dame. The Irish lost 30-3 to Clemson in the College Football Playoff national championship game.