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USF hired a new athletic director, reports say. He has ties to the College Football Playoff

The University of South Florida reportedly hired a new athletic director. USF chose College Football Playoff Chief Operating Officer Michael Kelly.
The University of South Florida reportedly hired a new athletic director. USF chose College Football Playoff Chief Operating Officer Michael Kelly.

The University of South Florida's search for an athletic director is nearing the end.

College Football Playoff chief operating officer Michael Kelly is expected to be named USF's athletic director, according to longtime college football reporter Brett McMurphy.

USF's search committee met Monday. No candidates were discussed by name, but search committee chair William Sutton told the Tampa Bay Times the plan was to submit a candidate to USF president Judy Genshaft by the end of the week "with a hire likely coming by July 4."

The Tampa Bay Times previously reported former Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich and former Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long were possible candidates.

Louisville's board of trustees dismissed Jurich with a vote of 10-3 last October after several scandals involving the men's basketball program, specifically former head coach Rick Pitino and the FBI's college basketball probe involving the Cardinals.

Meanwhile, Kelly was the CFP COO since 2012 and he will replace Mark Harlan, who was named Utah's athletic director last month.

Kelly has previous experience with the Tampa Bay area. "He was executive director of the Tampa Bay Men's Final Four Organizing Committee in 1999, president of the host committee for Super Bowl XXXV in Tampa from 1999-2001 and was an associate AD at USF from 2001-02," McMurphy reported.

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