Troy University's quest to hire a new head coach is nearing its finish line, with a quartet of candidates from multiple major Power 5 programs among the program's finalists.
Per sources with direct knowledge, University of Alabama assistant coach Charles Kelly, University of Kentucky assistant Jon Sumrall, West Virginia's Jordan Lesley and a fourth, unidentified candidate all were scheduled to meet today with Troy officials including athletics director Brent Jones.
The Trojans are seeking a replacement for Chip Lindsey, fired last month after logging a 15-19 overall record in three seasons atop the program.
Kelly is associate defensive coordinator and safeties coach for the Crimson Tide, the College Football Playoff ranking's No. 3 team this week and preparing for a showdown Saturday against No. 1 Georgia in the SEC Championship.
A 54-year-old Alabama native who's coached in the state at both the high school and collegiate levels for 15 years, Kelly also was a part of Jimbo Fisher's Florida State staff when the Seminoles won the 2013 national title.
In football circles, Sumrall is heralded as one of the sport's rising stars. Kentucky's co-defensive coordinator, Sumrall already boasts deep ties to Troy – he was the program's assistant head coach, special teams coordinator, linebackers coach and helped the Trojans to a trio of bowl appearances during his four-season term from 2015-18.
Sumrall, a Huntsville, Alabama, native, this season has helped implement a Wildcats' defense that has fueled that program to the cusp of another New Year's Day bowl game and possible 10-win season.
Lesley is a Troy man. The West Virginia defensive coordinator played for the Trojans from 2000-2004, and initiated his coaching career there at his alma mater in 2006. After some work in the junior college ranks in Mississippi, Lesley returned to Troy and worked alongside Sumrall on the defensive staff from 2016-18, before he accompanied Neal Brown to West Virginia.
Sources indicated to FootballScoop that Troy officials were working to finalize the process as quickly as possible as this week winds to its close and early signing period rests less than two weeks away, Dec. 15.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest coaching news.