Mike Tirico steers clear of speculation on Gruden’s possible return to coaching

Jon Gruden has become a hot item on the coaching wish list this season. 

(Associated Press)

Jon Gruden has become a hot item on the coaching wish list this season. (Associated Press)

Jon Gruden’s Monday Night Football television partner wants nothing to do with speculation about Gruden’s possible return to coaching.

“Like I've done the last three years, I'm staying away from any of the speculation and conversation as we enter the silly season,” Mike Tirico told SI.com Monday.

Gruden, who will provide commentary for ESPN’s broadcast of the the Chicago-San Francisco game Monday night, is said to be considering a return to coaching, either in college or the NFL.

Stay up to date on Tennessee's coaching search on the Names to Watch blog

Gruden, a former Tennessee graduate assistant whose wife was Vols cheerleader, was an NFL head coach at Oakland and Tampa Bay, where his team won the Super Bowl after the 2002 season.

Tennessee is searching for a head coach after firing Derek Dooley on Sunday.

The “silly season” is nothing new to Gruden, who has been linked to jobs in the past before deciding to remain in television, where he is one of ESPN’s most valuable stars.

“Jon remains committed to ESPN," a spokesperson told SI.com Sunday. "With a third of our Monday Night Football schedule still left to be played this season, he is focused on his analyst role and all the preparation that goes into our game each week."

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.

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Comments » 55

VolsUpsetYetAnother writes:

Nothing to add to this worthless acticle; just have never been 1st to post! Go Vols!

BluezVol writes:

Why he would give up a $4M+ job to come to Knoxville and put up with player grades, player attitudes, recruiting, crazy fan base and Knoxville allergies is beyond me. Don't get me wrong, I wish he would - but I can't find the logic in it at all. Of course, if his passion is for coaching and not commentating, then that may be enough.

Orange_Juiced writes:

Agreed...this is like hash and rehash...nothing new and won't be until mid to late December if our next coach is invested in his current job like he should be. But still we come back and hit refresh over and over again hoping we'll get the news as soon as it hits. The speculation is fun too.

joevol33 writes:

Regardless of what may happen, today was the first morning in near 4 yr's that i've woke up with actuall hope for Tennessee football. Now it's up to dave hart to keep that hope alive and make the right hire.

tennrich1 writes:

Just talked to a huge Arkansas booster who is CONVINCED that Jon Gruden WILL BE the next Hogs coach...as I told him..."You have a better chance of messing with Sasquash(sp) that getting Jon Gruden to be your coach"....

6972 writes:

The gravy train at ESPN or the cureent nightmare at Knoxville....isn't that a no brainer? If he took this coaching job, that would call into question his ability to make good decisions. That's just my opinion. I wouldn't object to having him, but I don't see it happening.

tennesseeduke writes:

in response to BluezVol:

Why he would give up a $4M+ job to come to Knoxville and put up with player grades, player attitudes, recruiting, crazy fan base and Knoxville allergies is beyond me. Don't get me wrong, I wish he would - but I can't find the logic in it at all. Of course, if his passion is for coaching and not commentating, then that may be enough.

He make's $4.3 million per with ESPN. So another $700k per year to bring his wife home should suffice!

tennesseeduke

tennesseeduke writes:

in response to VolsUpsetYetAnother:

Nothing to add to this worthless acticle; just have never been 1st to post! Go Vols!

In the words of Lee Corso, "NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND".

Just pulled this off Bleacher report.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/14...

Arkansas has already made him an offer!

tennesseeduke

tennesseeduke writes:

in response to tennrich1:

Just talked to a huge Arkansas booster who is CONVINCED that Jon Gruden WILL BE the next Hogs coach...as I told him..."You have a better chance of messing with Sasquash(sp) that getting Jon Gruden to be your coach"....

Not so fast!

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/14...

Arkansas has already made him an offer!

tennesseeduke

Dalton writes:

I don't believe JG is running the ship next fall but he's definitely out if you don't even have a conversation with the man..Mr. Hart kind of eliminated a ton of candidates with the previous HC experience caveat...eliminates Kirby Smart...but that saves a lot of computer/smartphone/television screens from food spatter when the announcement comes

jjsteel writes:

Jon Gruden is now on ebay.

Ironcity writes:

in response to BluezVol:

Why he would give up a $4M+ job to come to Knoxville and put up with player grades, player attitudes, recruiting, crazy fan base and Knoxville allergies is beyond me. Don't get me wrong, I wish he would - but I can't find the logic in it at all. Of course, if his passion is for coaching and not commentating, then that may be enough.

I agree but then again why do coaches put up with this nonsense anywhere. Gruden has a great gig but their appears to be something driving him back into the game. I hope it drives him to Knoxville.

tennesseetyler writes:

in response to BluezVol:

Why he would give up a $4M+ job to come to Knoxville and put up with player grades, player attitudes, recruiting, crazy fan base and Knoxville allergies is beyond me. Don't get me wrong, I wish he would - but I can't find the logic in it at all. Of course, if his passion is for coaching and not commentating, then that may be enough.

Guys like gruden are wired different.. yeah he makes a ton of cash and he does not need the money but maybe he wants a bcs ring.. the money is nothing at this point and maybe he wants to compete again

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to BluezVol:

Why he would give up a $4M+ job to come to Knoxville and put up with player grades, player attitudes, recruiting, crazy fan base and Knoxville allergies is beyond me. Don't get me wrong, I wish he would - but I can't find the logic in it at all. Of course, if his passion is for coaching and not commentating, then that may be enough.

How bout for 4yrs 24.8 million? And if he wanted to coach again the booth wouldn't satisfy that itch..The announcement is supposed to made immediately following the UK/UT game..I hope it's for real, but real good sources are saying Gruden accepted an offer to coach at UT last Thursday night.

govolsn3 writes:

My source is JOHN GRUDEN and he hasn't said much of anything lately. GO VOLS>>>VFL

luke255#536431 writes:

Why do so many vol fans want Gruden who was a good NFL coach but not great and is NOT proven he can build back a college program in the toughest conf. in college football. Yet the same people who want him won't even think about a PROVEN coach (yes with flaws) with Petrino. Doesn't make sense!!

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to tennesseeduke:

Not so fast!

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/14...

Arkansas has already made him an offer!

tennesseeduke

So has Tennessee my friend and counter offers have been discussed

gillblog writes:

If only Petrino didn't have that disturbing slink-out-of-town Kiffin-esque history I would say he's very much the guy UT should go after. Who knows, after all the embarrassment he's endured in the past few months he might have grown up a little. I can easily imagine him being very contrite and grateful if we made him an offer. And, in view of his past problems he would probably come in for a significant salary discount.

Vols braintrust should NOT turn their backs on this guy without some serious interviewing. He's an outstanding coach who would immediately attract top level recruits.

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to gillblog:

If only Petrino didn't have that disturbing slink-out-of-town Kiffin-esque history I would say he's very much the guy UT should go after. Who knows, after all the embarrassment he's endured in the past few months he might have grown up a little. I can easily imagine him being very contrite and grateful if we made him an offer. And, in view of his past problems he would probably come in for a significant salary discount.

Vols braintrust should NOT turn their backs on this guy without some serious interviewing. He's an outstanding coach who would immediately attract top level recruits.

Just don't let Heather Harrington interview him

ric1958 writes:

in response to 6972:

The gravy train at ESPN or the cureent nightmare at Knoxville....isn't that a no brainer? If he took this coaching job, that would call into question his ability to make good decisions. That's just my opinion. I wouldn't object to having him, but I don't see it happening.

I agree.

gillblog writes:

in response to shipperman#280095:

Just don't let Heather Harrington interview him

wish she would interview me....

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to gillblog:

wish she would interview me....

Me and you both Brother

movol77 writes:

AR offered JG over the weekend. He reportedly wanted $6m.

VolsVolsVols writes:

in response to BluezVol:

Why he would give up a $4M+ job to come to Knoxville and put up with player grades, player attitudes, recruiting, crazy fan base and Knoxville allergies is beyond me. Don't get me wrong, I wish he would - but I can't find the logic in it at all. Of course, if his passion is for coaching and not commentating, then that may be enough.

Just as some people are like water and take the path of least resistance, others embrace challenges in their life.

Vol_in_Mich writes:

in response to govolsn3:

My source is JOHN GRUDEN and he hasn't said much of anything lately. GO VOLS>>>VFL

Dooley's gone so you can lose the VFL bull hockey. We are all Vols forever.

GBO - Beat Ky

Razor784 writes:

He's not going to Arkansas, why would want the keys to a volkwagon when he can have the keys to a Porshe

VolsVolsVols writes:

in response to 6972:

The gravy train at ESPN or the cureent nightmare at Knoxville....isn't that a no brainer? If he took this coaching job, that would call into question his ability to make good decisions. That's just my opinion. I wouldn't object to having him, but I don't see it happening.

Perhaps it illustrates his confidence to rebuild a college program. Just because you have a different opinion doesn't mean his decision making skills should be called into question. If he is offered and decides to accept the position, I'm sure he will have far greater insight to the situation than a poster on this board.

VolsVolsVols writes:

in response to movol77:

AR offered JG over the weekend. He reportedly wanted $6m.

Got a documentable source other than a BS Bleacher Report article?

Vol43 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

How bout for 4yrs 24.8 million? And if he wanted to coach again the booth wouldn't satisfy that itch..The announcement is supposed to made immediately following the UK/UT game..I hope it's for real, but real good sources are saying Gruden accepted an offer to coach at UT last Thursday night.

Good post as usual Coldnose (complement). Do we think that Dave Hart doesn't have a plan, and he is hustleing to find a coach in desperation mode? Naw. Hart knows what he's doing and the wheels were turning long ago. I think the deal is done and he's waiting for the right moment to spring it. Some think that he's running around to find a coach. He's probably enjoying a fine Italian wine and maybe some cheese.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Vol43:

Good post as usual Coldnose (complement). Do we think that Dave Hart doesn't have a plan, and he is hustleing to find a coach in desperation mode? Naw. Hart knows what he's doing and the wheels were turning long ago. I think the deal is done and he's waiting for the right moment to spring it. Some think that he's running around to find a coach. He's probably enjoying a fine Italian wine and maybe some cheese.

Yeah, Dooley was supposed to step down after the UK game, but Hart had to pull the trigger immediately because the team had completely quit on Dooley. And yes, Hart is not sweating at all, the deals probably done and all he's got to worry about is whether he wants his turkey roasted or fried.

Vol43 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Yeah, Dooley was supposed to step down after the UK game, but Hart had to pull the trigger immediately because the team had completely quit on Dooley. And yes, Hart is not sweating at all, the deals probably done and all he's got to worry about is whether he wants his turkey roasted or fried.

You're cracking me up. Hey BB, if I don't see you before Thanksgiving, I hope you and your loved ones have a a blessed time. This world is crasy.

Vol43 writes:

Or is it crazy?

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Vol43:

You're cracking me up. Hey BB, if I don't see you before Thanksgiving, I hope you and your loved ones have a a blessed time. This world is crasy.

Ditto my Vol friend..

Vol43 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Ditto my Vol friend..

Went to the game at Dudley last night. The Vanderbilt coaches, the team and the fans were energised. Our players and coaches seemed out of touch. You could see it in the warmups. The only redemption was the Pride of the Southland Band. Man, they knocked it out of the park at halftime. They announced the circle drill. I knew then we were in for a special treat and what a treat it was. The band perfomed this technically demanding drill to perfection and even the Vandy crowd showed their appreciation. If we had a football team half as good as the Pride of the Southland Band, we would be in great shape

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Vol43:

Went to the game at Dudley last night. The Vanderbilt coaches, the team and the fans were energised. Our players and coaches seemed out of touch. You could see it in the warmups. The only redemption was the Pride of the Southland Band. Man, they knocked it out of the park at halftime. They announced the circle drill. I knew then we were in for a special treat and what a treat it was. The band perfomed this technically demanding drill to perfection and even the Vandy crowd showed their appreciation. If we had a football team half as good as the Pride of the Southland Band, we would be in great shape

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Vol43:

Went to the game at Dudley last night. The Vanderbilt coaches, the team and the fans were energised. Our players and coaches seemed out of touch. You could see it in the warmups. The only redemption was the Pride of the Southland Band. Man, they knocked it out of the park at halftime. They announced the circle drill. I knew then we were in for a special treat and what a treat it was. The band perfomed this technically demanding drill to perfection and even the Vandy crowd showed their appreciation. If we had a football team half as good as the Pride of the Southland Band, we would be in great shape

No doubt, that circle drill is the most complicated marching band maneuver..I recently got into a heated debate with a TSU grad over marching bands..I told him 200 drums and 4 sousaphones were more akin to a New Orleans street festival band..No match for the "Pride of the Southland Band"..He was not a happy camper when I pointed out the similarity between TSU's band and natives beating drums beckoning KONG!

Vol43 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

No doubt, that circle drill is the most complicated marching band maneuver..I recently got into a heated debate with a TSU grad over marching bands..I told him 200 drums and 4 sousaphones were more akin to a New Orleans street festival band..No match for the "Pride of the Southland Band"..He was not a happy camper when I pointed out the similarity between TSU's band and natives beating drums beckoning KONG!

Sweet. LOL!

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to Vol43:

Sweet. LOL!

The circle jerk was always a popular maneuver as well...LOL

Vol43 writes:

in response to shipperman#280095:

The circle jerk was always a popular maneuver as well...LOL

Heard that too! lol

vols2dawalls writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

How bout for 4yrs 24.8 million? And if he wanted to coach again the booth wouldn't satisfy that itch..The announcement is supposed to made immediately following the UK/UT game..I hope it's for real, but real good sources are saying Gruden accepted an offer to coach at UT last Thursday night.

Knox Catholic received the paperwork today for Grudens sons transfer. He is K-Town Bound.

Theo writes:

in response to gillblog:

If only Petrino didn't have that disturbing slink-out-of-town Kiffin-esque history I would say he's very much the guy UT should go after. Who knows, after all the embarrassment he's endured in the past few months he might have grown up a little. I can easily imagine him being very contrite and grateful if we made him an offer. And, in view of his past problems he would probably come in for a significant salary discount.

Vols braintrust should NOT turn their backs on this guy without some serious interviewing. He's an outstanding coach who would immediately attract top level recruits.

Scarey that he would even be considered. Jerks do not grow out of their jerkiness. Case study #1 Kiffin will be a tool the rest of his life.

volfaninbuckeyeland writes:

Guys, I have no inside connections or sources, that's why I visit this site so much, but I can't help feeling quite encouraged by some of your remarks concerning Gruden. I realize that he has not proven himself in the college ranks, and I have never met him, but I just feel as if he would be such an ideal fit for Tenn. I have become very skeptical of the mercenary mentality that has become so prevalent in all sports, even though I understand it. Look out for #1 is the credo of the day. That's why I had such a hard time accepting CPF's firing, especially the manner in which it was handled. The man had a genuine passion for UT, and like a faithful mate, there was a peace of mind that came in knowing how committed he was to the UT family. Of all the candidates out there, Gruden seems to me to be the type who could carry on that same type of passion and commitment without the phony flambouyance of a LK or the deceitful shenanigans of a BP. I would like to think that if he could be persuaded, it would be primarily because of that love for UT rather than the love of the money that would be the primary motivating factor. JG knows TN and its traditions, and I believe he has also felt the pain and anguish of the decimation of its program. Maybe, just maybe, as a "favorite son", he might just won't to give it a shot simply because he cares. Is that being too idealistic?

bigorangesux writes:

in response to vols2dawalls:

Knox Catholic received the paperwork today for Grudens sons transfer. He is K-Town Bound.

I also heard Gruden's wife is trying to squeeze into her old UT outfit!! It's on!!!!!!!!!!

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

To all of you out there who say that there is no way we get Gruden: Why hasn't he said anything about not wanting the job?

He could have said that he doesn't want to leave ESPN. He could say it on MNF. He could just come out and say, "I want to address all the rumors that I will be leaving ESPN to coach at the University of Tennessee. I want to tell you guys that I love that school. Knoxville is a great college town. The Vols gave me my first shot and UT's next coach will have the opportunity of a lifetime, but that guy isn't going to be me. I am flattered by all the rumors that I will be the next Volunteers head coach, but I am just fine where I am with ESPN."

How hard would that be? Hell, Cutcliffe wasn't even asked about the UT opening and he came out and said he was going to stay at Duke.

Also, I don't think that Gruden is jockeying for a raise with ESPN like Gary Patterson is at TCU. His contract is set and unless he is serious about jumping ESPN for the Vols, ESPN has no motivation to offer him more money. I also don't think that ESPN sees Gruden as a unique commodity that cannot be replaced. MNF has cycled through just a ridiculous amount of talking heads (Dennis Miller???) and has always come out on top. I don't think that Gruden is as important to their bottom line as a lot of people think he is.

Anyway...if Gruden doesn't want the job, we'll hear it from him before we ever hear from Hart that he has been offered.

As long as Gruden is silent on the subject matter, he is in play.

It is telling though that Gruden's MNF co-worker Mike Tirico is addressing the issue of Gruden leaving to coach, but Gruden is not.

djohnnyg writes:

Hart said he hasn't talked to anybody cuz the deal is already done.

In seriousness, I heard from a source in the media that he thinks this is a done deal.

I have no special knowledge but this guy has never been wrong about this stuff.

When Saban was at Miami and denied he was going to Ala. THIS GUY knew it was done deal.

I wouldn't bet my house on it, but there's ALOT of buzz right now about this.

djohnnyg writes:

The Arkansas boards are blowing up with the fact Gruden wore a "Arkansas Red" necktie tonight on MNF.

He did.

djohnnyg writes:

Hog fans see the necktie as the not so subtle message to the Razorback faithful..."I'm comin to Fayetteville".

volfaninbuckeyeland writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

To all of you out there who say that there is no way we get Gruden: Why hasn't he said anything about not wanting the job?

He could have said that he doesn't want to leave ESPN. He could say it on MNF. He could just come out and say, "I want to address all the rumors that I will be leaving ESPN to coach at the University of Tennessee. I want to tell you guys that I love that school. Knoxville is a great college town. The Vols gave me my first shot and UT's next coach will have the opportunity of a lifetime, but that guy isn't going to be me. I am flattered by all the rumors that I will be the next Volunteers head coach, but I am just fine where I am with ESPN."

How hard would that be? Hell, Cutcliffe wasn't even asked about the UT opening and he came out and said he was going to stay at Duke.

Also, I don't think that Gruden is jockeying for a raise with ESPN like Gary Patterson is at TCU. His contract is set and unless he is serious about jumping ESPN for the Vols, ESPN has no motivation to offer him more money. I also don't think that ESPN sees Gruden as a unique commodity that cannot be replaced. MNF has cycled through just a ridiculous amount of talking heads (Dennis Miller???) and has always come out on top. I don't think that Gruden is as important to their bottom line as a lot of people think he is.

Anyway...if Gruden doesn't want the job, we'll hear it from him before we ever hear from Hart that he has been offered.

As long as Gruden is silent on the subject matter, he is in play.

It is telling though that Gruden's MNF co-worker Mike Tirico is addressing the issue of Gruden leaving to coach, but Gruden is not.

Hey, Dwayne, you can't sleep either? I keep checking the site in hopes of reading about a done deal and hopefully, with JG. I am honestly more excited about any prospective news than I have been in recent weeks about the games themselves. Need to get some shuteye, though, since I seriously don't expect any breaking news in the middle of the night---unless it's about LK leaving for another position.

CaliVOL2 writes:

I've got it on good authority that he is coming to Tennessee. $7 mm per year, $35 mm guaranteed. All but signed.

djohnnyg writes:

Even an Oakland Raider forum has Gruden to UT.

Someone claiming "inside knowledge".

Still alot of buzz on Arkansas though too.

I honestly think...as weird as it sounds, that his "Arkansas Red" necktie tonight is fueling the Hog talk.

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