Growing buzz that prominent college coaches could jump into NFL in 2021 amid pandemic fallout


With COVID-19 weighing heavily on varsity athletics and the future economy of the NCAA’s athletic departments coming into question, a host of top college coaches are more open to a jump to the NFL, many say sources close to the situation.

Major restructuring is underway as the pandemic rages in this country, and sports programs are increasingly abandoned. College football matches continue to be canceled in greater numbers each week, and several conferences have not participated in football at all in 2020. The fiscal means and, to some extent, morality, to have the Highest-paid state employee in many states where Covid rates are skyrocketing as a local college football coach is something talked about more frequently among coaching agents and their clients, with some planning a recalibration to come in the type of compensation that coaches can expect while campuses stay in varying degrees of virtual learning.

Some coaches who were already open to switching to pro play are even more motivated to do so, sources say, and others will certainly be more open than in the past. Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly’s name comes up most often in this regard, which isn’t surprising given he’s been looking to jump into the NFL for quite some time now, but hasn’t been able to gain a lot of ground. The situation at the University of Michigan may come to a head with Jim Harbaugh’s program under more scrutiny than ever after a loss to Michigan State, and he obviously has a very successful record as a coach. -Head of the NFL with the 49ers.

Lincoln Riley’s name isn’t as hot as it was a few years ago, but the Oklahoma coach is certainly someone NFL teams have considered in the past, and his working with Kyler Murray, a potential MVP candidate with the Cardinals in his second season. , did not go unnoticed. Riley will be ready to at least listen to NFL teams if they go after him, sources said, and some close to him would not be shocked if he seriously embraces the NFL option in 2021.

And Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald has been coveted by other NFL teams in the past, most recently by the Green Bay Packers in 2019 before hiring Matt LaFleur. Fitzgerald withdrew from the process after being contacted by the team, and it would take something close to a utopian situation to get him out of Evanston, long sources say … but to train the Chicago Bears’ hometown could well be this situation. The Bears fall after a 5-1 start, they’ve badly mismanaged the quarterback and head coach Matt Nagy has just stepped down from playing duties ahead of a critical game with the Vikings this weekend.

If the property makes a coaching change in 2021, you can guarantee that Fitzgerald is the first call, with him long seen as a potential coach by many within this family. The Bears wouldn’t be the only team with a strong interest in his services, but they have inherent advantages over any other potential contender.


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