Not talking yet
Shanahan dodges questions about Florida jobPosted: Friday January 04, 2002 5:55 PM
Updated: Friday January 04, 2002 10:54 PM
DENVER (AP) -- Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan laughed when informed he was reported to be a leading candidate to succeed Steve Spurrier at the University of Florida.
Shanahan stopped short, however, of saying he had no interest in the job.
Shanahan, offensive coordinator at Florida from 1980-83, also was mentioned several weeks ago as a candidate for the Notre Dame job, which since has gone to Stanford's Tyrone Willingham.
Spurrier, one of college football's most successful coaches, resigned Friday to pursue an NFL job.
When a reporter joked that Shanahan had reportedly been sighted Friday morning in Gainesville, Fla., the coach laughed and said, "Yeah, right before practice. I just got in in the nick of time. You guys didn't catch me."
Informed he was really mentioned as a top candidate for the Florida job, Shanahan said, "Oh, really? Really? Let's talk about Indianapolis."
The Broncos (8-7) conclude their season Sunday in Indianapolis.
If Shanahan was growing weary of having his name mentioned for coaching vacancies, he missed an opportunity to end such speculation.
Hinting that it was a distraction, he said, "The last time we talked about this was when we were getting ready for Kansas City," signaling an end to the conversation.
After this season, Shanahan has three years remaining on a contract that makes him one of the NFL's three highest-paid coaches. He has a good relationship with team owner Pat Bowlen. Shanahan also recently moved into a new home in the Denver area and seemingly has no desire to leave.
Shanahan said he didn't know Spurrier's reasons for leaving Florida, but predicted Spurrier "will have a number of opportunities if he wants to get in the NFL. He's a proven coach. He's done a great job at the collegiate level, and I wish him well."
Minnesota coach Denny Green also is leaving. Green was forced out Friday, accepting a buyout of the last two years of his contract.
"You never know the circumstances that are involved," Shanahan said. "I'll get a chance to talk to Denny sometime probably in the next couple of months and find out the details.
"But he's done a great job at Minnesota. He's won a lot of football games. Unfortunately, that's the nature of this profession."