ATLANTA (AP) - The Miami Dolphins received permission Friday to interview Georgia Tech coach Chan Gailey in their search for Nick Saban's replacement. Gailey was the Dolphins' offensive coordinator when Georgia Tech hired him to replace George O'Leary in 2001.
The Yellow Jackets went 9-5 this season and had the best record (7-1) in the Atlantic Coast Conference, but lost their final three games.
Former Falcons coach Jim Mora also is a candidate in Miami. He interviewed with the team today, four days after being fired by Atlanta.
Saban left the Dolphins this week after just two seasons to take the head coaching job at Alabama. He gave up the final three years of a contract that paid him 4.5-million dollars a year.
Gailey just completed the first season of a five-year, $5-million contract extension that ties him to the Yellow Jackets through 2010. Tech athletic director Dan Radakovich said, "I received a call from the Miami Dolphins requesting permission to speak with Coach Gailey. It was not surprising, given Chan's relationship with the Dolphins' organization and what he has accomplished at Georgia Tech. It speaks to the high regard with which he is held in the football world, both professionally and on the collegiate level."
Gailey, who turned 55 today, pointed to his relationship with the Dolphins and NFL experience as the reasons for Miami's interest. He is a former head coach of the Dallas Cowboys and worked on Bill Cowher's staff with the Pittsburgh Steelers. In five seasons at Georgia Tech, Gailey has a record of 37-and-26.
In a statement released by Tech, Gailey said, "The Dolphins' administration is aware of my knowledge of their organization and people, as well as my experience as an NFL head coach. It was clear to me that they were in the process of gathering information and insight into organizational issues. I appreciate that they asked to speak with me regarding their future direction."