Gran 'always grinding', all business

Assistant spent 10 years at Auburn, looks for long run at UT

Eddie Gran has decided to take a business-like approach to Saturday's game against Auburn at Neyland Stadium. That's nothing new.

"He never lets his guard down," Tennessee freshman tailback David Oku said of his position coach. "If you try to laugh or something like that (at practice), he'll look at you (and say) 'This is all serious.'

"I think that's what separates him and makes him a good coach. He's always grinding on you to make sure you do good."

Gran grinded for a decade at Auburn before his mentor, Tommy Tuberville, was fired following the 2008 season.

"I'm grateful for those 10 years," Gran said. "In our profession, if you can get 10 years somewhere, that's unbelievable because you get your family intact and they have friends. We'll have friends there forever.

"If I can sign a 10-year deal here (at UT), I'd love to do it. It just doesn't happen anymore."

If Gran sets up roots in Knoxville, that should help the Vols. He's proved one of the UT's most valuable coaches. His tailbacks have excelled this season. He has strong recruiting ties in South Florida. And he coordinates UT's special teams.

Gran said he plans to be more involved in the Knoxville community - when time allows.

"We've really tried to get involved in the community and we're excited about that opportunity here," Gran said of his family. "It's been kind of a whirlwind when you start a program and get going.

"There's not a lot of time but we're excited about embracing it. I'm just excited about being in this league again. I think it would have been tough to go somewhere else."

Gran said he's planning a charity event to benefit the foundation that was started to benefit Children's Hospitals. Gran started the foundation when his daughter, Sydney, passed away in 2005 from a rare brain disease.

The Grans are close to raising enough money for the foundation to be endowed, self-sufficient and continue on in their daughter's name. Donations can be made at sydneygranfoundation.org.

Most of the donations the foundation received came from the Auburn football family via fundraisers and charity dinners. That connection means the ties between the Grans and Auburn run deep.

Perhaps the only way for Gran to not be distracted for Saturday's game (TV: ESPN, 7:45 p.m.) against Auburn (4-0, 1-0 SEC) is to take that business-like approach that serves him well everyday in practice.

"I do have great relationships there but one thing I'm not going to do is make this thing personal," he said. "It's not about Auburn. It's not about Eddie Gran. It's about Tennessee and that's it. Period. The end.

"This is about Tennessee football and our fans and us trying to get our first SEC win to get back in the race and us play well at home in front of our fans."

One would think Gran would have some insight that might help the Vols (2-2, 0-1) get that first win. With a whole new coaching staff and a new offensive scheme at Auburn, the assistance is limited to what Gran knows about Auburn's personnel.

"I think you do," Gran said when asked if a coach can provide useful information on an old team. "Not anything that's going to help you win or lose the football game.

"You can just give a little bit more information, maybe about their personality, maybe about a 40-time. That's it. I really don't think that is a huge, huge advantage."

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Comments » 35

TommyJack writes:

This guy was a great get.

the10sevol writes:

like the businesslike approach. let's get in the tiger-skinnin', eagle-pluckin', plainsman...hmm...deplaining(?) business saturday.

GBO

Greer_Vol_22 writes:

can he coach receivers too?

AllVols4 writes:

I am so glad we got this guy!! I think they ought to put donation buckets at the gates when you enter the stadium and take up money for his foundation.. Just think if every fan that entered only give one dollar how far that would go in his foundation..

NoogaVol55 writes:

in response to TommyJack:

This guy was a great get.

Like always...TJ speaks the truth.

smashmouth98 writes:

we gotta keep pounding the rock with an occasional play action pass. Hopefully JC can play mistake free football. I know it's asking a lot but no major turnovers.

Volomatic writes:

I like what the coach does in the running game and return game, but what I want to know is who is in charge of the coverage team. If we are playing our best players there should be no reason for an Ohio team to return a kickoff back on us. Surprising the Gators didn't but I don't know what happened last week, but if they don't watch out AU will do the same thing

transplantiam writes:

He seems to be a very stand-up guy, and an excellent backfield coach. I've read several articles on the personal issues that he and his family have had to endure. That would be a good idea, the donation bucket at the gate, I'd be in that line with money in hand. It's a shame that the powers-that-be don't allow things like that. There's just too many others in virtually the same boat. Good thought anyway!
GO VOLS!!

TommyJack writes:

in response to NoogaVol55:

Like always...TJ speaks the truth.

Like always...Nooga is on the money. :)

OrangePride writes:

This is why the long term future of Tennessee is bright. When you have coaches like Orgeron, Gran, Monte and the rest of this staff, you know they are 1) going to attract great talent and 2) develop that talent into something special. This may not be Tennessee's year, but you can already see the change in tempo, attitude, and determination. Sometimes, "It is just great to be a Tennessee Vol! GO VOLS, BEAT AUBURN!

rockytopatl writes:

in response to Volomatic:

I like what the coach does in the running game and return game, but what I want to know is who is in charge of the coverage team. If we are playing our best players there should be no reason for an Ohio team to return a kickoff back on us. Surprising the Gators didn't but I don't know what happened last week, but if they don't watch out AU will do the same thing

Gran is in charge. It was reported that somebody overcompensated and left a gap. It happens in football. The Ohio back had run kicks back before. It happens; it will again. What I want is for us to run one back. We are long overdue.

tennezz writes:

If Gran keeps recruiting Florida, He`s gonna drain the swamp!

Lostvolinhighweeds writes:

in response to tennezz:

If Gran keeps recruiting Florida, He`s gonna drain the swamp!

Only three swamps in this country.
One is in Florida
Louisiana is another.
The one in Georgia is the most impressive.
Coach Gran will drain them all if given 5 years.

Salpointe writes:

Judging only by the way he has recruited so far, sign him up for 20!

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Only two things are needed Sat nite.

1 - Show Aubie what a real defense is.

2 - Let the pig fly only to Orange/White receivers.

Moaninglikeheck writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Like always...Nooga is on the money. :)

You guys should get a room.

10volunteers98 writes:

Hamilton needs to do whatever it takes to keep Coach Gran in K-Town!

wondermom writes:

Auburn fan here--you're really lucky to have Gran--he's a great coach and a great person. I hope ya'll will make him feel welcome. It did kind of make me cringe to see him put in the same category as Orgeron--what a freak. Let's hope neither team gets anymore injuries this week--we're both so thin.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to rockytopatl:

Gran is in charge. It was reported that somebody overcompensated and left a gap. It happens in football. The Ohio back had run kicks back before. It happens; it will again. What I want is for us to run one back. We are long overdue.

I'm with you. It is sad, but it seems to be a tradition that our opponents win the special-teams yardage battle against us game after game after...

Huttdawg100 writes:

One thing people aren't mentioning is the fact that Trooper Taylor will be returning to Knoxville as an Auburn Assistant. I must admit, when I learned that Cutcliffe AND Taylor would be leaving UT for other schools in 2007, I had a sick feeling about the following year. I personally believed that Phil should have promoted Taylor to OC...

But all that won't matter Saturday. I will say that it's going to be extremely annoying to see him bouncing around Auburn's sideline with his backwards cap on Saturday.... However, I doubt Monte Kiffin will let that happen.

Volunatic writes:

The story of his daughter was a heartbreaker. I respect him very much for his faith and for his businesslike approach to coaching/recruiting.
It's great having Coach Gran here at UT.

TommyJack writes:

in response to Moaninglikeheck:

You guys should get a room.

And you should get your GED.

TommyJack writes:

in response to Huttdawg100:

One thing people aren't mentioning is the fact that Trooper Taylor will be returning to Knoxville as an Auburn Assistant. I must admit, when I learned that Cutcliffe AND Taylor would be leaving UT for other schools in 2007, I had a sick feeling about the following year. I personally believed that Phil should have promoted Taylor to OC...

But all that won't matter Saturday. I will say that it's going to be extremely annoying to see him bouncing around Auburn's sideline with his backwards cap on Saturday.... However, I doubt Monte Kiffin will let that happen.

Hutt, no one else has bothered to make TT their OC.
(don't give me that co-OC at OK.ST bidness, either)

Eddie Gran will be a HC soon.

1974Vol writes:

Only way Vols win is if we win turnover battle. EB needs an INT for a TD and we need to be hitting those Tiger TB's so hard they're coughing the ball up. They will put up some big yardage numbers, just hang tough D, keep 'em out of the end zone, make 'em kick at FG's and turn the ball over. "O" just keep it on the ground and please don't let JC beat us by himself like last year.

cmoore7 writes:

Great guy with a great heart. His backs will be ready to go tomorrow night.

Beat Auburn

micbrooks#212023 writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Hutt, no one else has bothered to make TT their OC.
(don't give me that co-OC at OK.ST bidness, either)

Eddie Gran will be a HC soon.

While I wish him the best, most SEC head coaches have some head coaching experience before they are hired as a H.C. in our conference. However, he has been around long enough that that might not matter. I just hope Fla. doesn't hire him when UM leaves for ND

givehim6 writes:

Prouf of a good coach is in the results. Last year Hardasty was pron to injury staded side lined alot. This year he is one of the top runners in the SEC. GO GRANT GO VOLS!

crimsonviper writes:

in response to hiresanders:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Notice how the more you post,the stupider you become??

TommyJack writes:

in response to micbrooks#212023:

While I wish him the best, most SEC head coaches have some head coaching experience before they are hired as a H.C. in our conference. However, he has been around long enough that that might not matter. I just hope Fla. doesn't hire him when UM leaves for ND

Agree. I think FL would go with their DC.

crimsonviper writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Hutt, no one else has bothered to make TT their OC.
(don't give me that co-OC at OK.ST bidness, either)

Eddie Gran will be a HC soon.

Absolutely agree about Eddie Gran being a head coach soon.He has everything it takes and he is a class act.The Vols are very fortunate to have him.IMO

notoriousBIGorange writes:

in response to hiresanders:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey! Kanye West is back! What was it that Obama called you... Jack***

TrouserCough writes:

Love your stand for the faith coach

luvorange writes:

in response to crimsonviper:

Absolutely agree about Eddie Gran being a head coach soon.He has everything it takes and he is a class act.The Vols are very fortunate to have him.IMO

I gotta say, you are refreshing. Unlike others who we don't have to name.

VOLFORLIFE writes:

in response to crimsonviper:

Notice how the more you post,the stupider you become??

Good one, viper!

GO VOLS!!!
JUGHEAD

VOLFORLIFE writes:

in response to wondermom:

Auburn fan here--you're really lucky to have Gran--he's a great coach and a great person. I hope ya'll will make him feel welcome. It did kind of make me cringe to see him put in the same category as Orgeron--what a freak. Let's hope neither team gets anymore injuries this week--we're both so thin.

Welcome to our board, wondermom. I'm with you, I hope there are no injuries on either side.

I agree with you about Coach Gran. He seems to carry himself with nothing but class, and I appreciate the fact that he's a man of faith. I also believe we're very fortunate to have him.

GO VOLS!!!
JUGHEAD

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