Agent says Gruden never had interest in Vols' job, calls reports 'fantasy'

'Jon has made it clear he’s committed to ESPN'

NFL broadcaster and former Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden greets fans before an NFL preseason football game between the Oakland Raiders and the Dallas Cowboys in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Aug. 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Photo by Tony Avelar, 2012 Tony Avelar Photography

NFL broadcaster and former Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden greets fans before an NFL preseason football game between the Oakland Raiders and the Dallas Cowboys in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Aug. 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden speaks to the media during his weekly news conference Monday Dec. 29, 2008 in Tampa, Fla. The Buccaneers lost to the Oakland Raiders 31-24 on Sunday finishing the season at 9-7, and out of the playoffs. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Photo by Chris O'Meara

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden speaks to the media during his weekly news conference Monday Dec. 29, 2008 in Tampa, Fla. The Buccaneers lost to the Oakland Raiders 31-24 on Sunday finishing the season at 9-7, and out of the playoffs. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Bob Lamonte, Jon Gruden's agent

Bob Lamonte, Jon Gruden's agent

The agent for former NFL coach Jon Gruden said reports that his client had received an offer from Tennessee were from a “fantasy world” and that Gruden had no interest in the Vols’ head coaching job.

“I haven’t said anything (about the ongoing rumors) because there’s been nothing to say,” said Bob LaMonte, the Reno, Nev.-based representative for Gruden. “This, to me, is just a fantasy world.”

LaMonte said he spoke to Tennessee Athletic Director Dave Hart for the first time this morning.

“He just said there had been a lot of rumors and he just wanted to clear the air,” LaMonte said. “I said, ‘Thank you for the call. I appreciate it.’ He said thank you and that was it.”

LaMonte said Gruden has no plans to leave ESPN, where he is in his fourth season as a commentator for Monday Night Football.

“Jon has made it clear he’s committed to ESPN,” LaMonte said.

LaMonte disputed reports that Gruden had been offered a contract or been negotiating terms to take the Tennessee job.

“I don’t know Dave Hart,” LaMonte said. “I’d never met him or talked to him. (Today) was the only time I talked to anyone from Tennessee.”

A source close to the Tennessee search who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media told the News Sentinel that Tennessee reached out to Gruden directly last week, but Gruden ultimately declined to pursue the job. The source supported LaMonte’s stance that no negotiations took place.

LaMonte said Hart’s call today was apparently a formality.

“He said, ‘I just wanted to do due diligence,’” LaMonte said. “I said, ‘Thank you, but Jon has made it clear he’s committed to ESPN.' He thanked me and said goodbye.”

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

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Comments » 260

seofeed writes:

Thank you KNS and Evan. Great work getting someone on the record

jkreis#632254 writes:

That's it? That's as hard a run at Gruden as UT is going to make? Hard to believe!

Orangeblood13 writes:

Kinda of a piss poor effort if that was the conversation. I don't know but I for one am ready to get some real business done. If Gruden wanted to come, I am sure Tenn could make it happen, but seems Tenn needs to move to serious candidates

Colts_VolFan writes:

He obviously doesn't know what my fantasies are. That's a whole different website.

volfanlostnbama writes:

Well, just about sums up this whole college football realm these days..."Fantasy World" & I've been a college football fan all my life--we've pushed all this way past the point of reality...I for one say its time for a reality check, if not careful we are about to push it all to the point of collapse like the rest of our culture...this has become just pure stupidity!

VOLS34 writes:

What a waste of time.

OLROCKYTOP writes:

"Fantasy" LOL. Come on guys, lets move on and go get us a coach. Geez!!!

just4utk writes:

So you're telling me that Dave Hart has never contacted Gruden's agent or Gruden himself about the coaching job until today?
That Hart’s call was apparently a formality to just be diligent?

eduardo writes:

Things are not what they seem!

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

"LaMonte said Hart’s call today was apparently a formality.

“He said, ‘I just wanted to do due diligence,’” LaMonte said. “I said, ‘Thank you but Jon has made it clear he’s committed to ESPN.' He thanked me and said goodbye.'"

WTF has Dave Hart been doing for the last damn week???

Can we not hire competent administrators at this University? How does your entire fan base, the people that fund your JOB, blow up over the idea that Gruden is going to come to UT and then you just call as a FORMALITY?!?

This is amazing. Dave Hart and Jimmy Cheek have turned our athletic department into the University of Virginia.

volunteer89 writes:

All I want to say is Hart better deliver. We had enough mistakes and pain with Hamilton - across all of our programs. Then we went and hired this Bama guy instead of someone who knows the school and bleeds orange. He absolutely better make some good decisions!

BigOrangeSports writes:

Hart only made that call to quieten the fans. According to this story, Gruden was never a candidate for Hart.

Saban_Palin writes:

The irony and kharma of Tenn fans laughing at Bama when Shula was fired in 2006, and now they are the laughing stock of the SEC. Roll Tide

seofeed writes:

Let it go people. Let's go find a coach that is interested in being here and support him all the way. Personally, I'm elated this is finally over.

greatdaysahead writes:

I truly hope this is the end of the Gruden rumors. It's hard to believe how caught up UT fans have been about a guy who's only been a grad. assistant in college football. I would love to see Charlie Strong hired. I know he's new to the head coaching ranks, but 3 years in and he's going to his 2nd BCS bowl; this isn't USC, Notre Dame, Florida State, but Louisville. He is the man for the job and will do better with better resources at Tennessee.

volfanlostnbama writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

"LaMonte said Hart’s call today was apparently a formality.

“He said, ‘I just wanted to do due diligence,’” LaMonte said. “I said, ‘Thank you but Jon has made it clear he’s committed to ESPN.' He thanked me and said goodbye.'"

WTF has Dave Hart been doing for the last damn week???

Can we not hire competent administrators at this University? How does your entire fan base, the people that fund your JOB, blow up over the idea that Gruden is going to come to UT and then you just call as a FORMALITY?!?

This is amazing. Dave Hart and Jimmy Cheek have turned our athletic department into the University of Virginia.

I for one don't believe Hart is the problem...the problem are the power brokers who fight over losing the power brokering position. Happening all over College Football. Saban has been able to successfully set the AL program free of such stupid battles & implement a plan that caused the program to rise to prominence. Going to have to happen here at UT before we will see any success. If power brokers win out again, get ready for the same old mediocrity over and over. Its a mindset that has to change in order for success to be unleashed within the organization.

Shake_Bake writes:

in response to VOLS34:

What a waste of time.

Agree!!! Let's move on and get serious about the next coach. Recruiting season is on us...let's get someone in here ASAP!

david_light_38230#225602 writes:

This is becoming a complete "Gruden-rope" . . . Hart, either go to the microphone and provide an update or allow someone within the Atheletic Department to speak up on an "offical" basis!

GO VOLS!!

rocky_topper writes:

That's what we get for letting Alabama plant a mole within our Athletic Department!

StoneJackBaller writes:

I don't believe there was never any talk. I believe there was talk, and possibly an offer in hand, but for whatever reason, Gruden declined it. I believe the notion that they never even considered it is just a smokescreen for negotiations with other candidates not to seem 2nd or 3rd choice.

ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER writes:

in response to Saban_Palin:

The irony and kharma of Tenn fans laughing at Bama when Shula was fired in 2006, and now they are the laughing stock of the SEC. Roll Tide

What is kharma ? (the letter "h" is no where near the letter "a" or "k" on a keyboard)

jopad writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

"LaMonte said Hart’s call today was apparently a formality.

“He said, ‘I just wanted to do due diligence,’” LaMonte said. “I said, ‘Thank you but Jon has made it clear he’s committed to ESPN.' He thanked me and said goodbye.'"

WTF has Dave Hart been doing for the last damn week???

Can we not hire competent administrators at this University? How does your entire fan base, the people that fund your JOB, blow up over the idea that Gruden is going to come to UT and then you just call as a FORMALITY?!?

This is amazing. Dave Hart and Jimmy Cheek have turned our athletic department into the University of Virginia.

It's none of your business what Hart's been doing unless your the biggest fish in the financial pond and paying his salary.

Get over it people! Gruden never was coming to UT. Stop living in a dream world.

Trust Hart, not those posting who are out of touch with reality. Geez!!!

carbonzip writes:

Talking about it is far easier than doing it. Gruden's heart isn't in coaching.

rtrchatt writes:

in response to Saban_Palin:

The irony and kharma of Tenn fans laughing at Bama when Shula was fired in 2006, and now they are the laughing stock of the SEC. Roll Tide

Speak the truth my Bama friend. Saturday is almost here and win/lose this decade will the greatest in Alabama fb. Roll Tide

jbocap writes:

Thank God this is over with Gruden...He's NOT the best candidate for Tennessee! His head coaching career record is about .500, that is not great for what UT is needing.

I trust they will get the right coach, everybody needs to chill...

gillblog writes:

in response to eduardo:

Things are not what they seem!

Said Alice to the Cheshire Cat.....

brod writes:

why would he leave mnf and espn? really, why? no pressure, no recruiting, high salary, and still gets to live in tampa. it's nobody's fantasy, it's the dumb press.

poppatock writes:

Why are comments being made that no one spoke with him about the job?

"A source close to the Tennessee search who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media told the News Sentinel that Tennessee reached out to Gruden directly last week, but Gruden ultimately declined to pursue the job. The source supported LaMonte’s stance that no negotiations took place."

Read all of the words.

chad954ut writes:

Sounds like Hart is trying to save face for not getting the deal done. We will end up with another Dooley.

thecafeongreenwood writes:

Question: Why would you start believing news articles now? It seems clear people are posting articles/comments just to get people to respond, and people are responding just to get people to post articles... And you (the reader) are the pawn in the middle.

jjk writes:

Great to hear something on the record now. Can fans finally put this pipe dream to rest and get behind someone who has a great college coaching track record and actually wants to be here?

MR_VOL writes:

Folks, do not get caught up in all this media hype. I have posted multiple times on this site that Hart has only a couple of coaches on HIS list along with the "dream" coach.

I would not hesitate to bet that Hart has already made the hire. He knew at the beginnin of the year [2012] that a coaching change may happen, and trust me, he did not wait until last week to start a search. It would not surprise me at all if Hart has not already made a hand shake agreement, months ago, should a change be necessary. We are now simply awaiting it to become public knowlegde.

Remember, Dave Hart is not Mike Hamilton, so there is probably only six [6] people on the face of the earth that actually knows the whole situation. There is nothing to talk about until DAVE HART introduces the new coach, which should be next week.

Nighthawk writes:

Hart has allowed Gruden to be his decoy while he checks out real coaching candidates. Wise Up !!

vol98champ writes:

There are some things that should go unreported. This was definitely one of those things. It does no good for anyone except Gruden's massive ego. Hart says he will get the job done. He d--- well better.

pcorange writes:

If the guy doesn't want to be here, why would Hart beg him to come? Frankly, we all look pretty damn stupid right now. This isn't Dave Hart's fault. The blame for the egg on our collective face lays squarely at the feet of all the news agencies, blogs, "sources", and our own ignorance as fans.

OrangePride writes:

First off, I rarely believe ANYTHING these guys tell me. But, reports that Gruden "was never interested" in coaching at Tennessee are probably much more true than false. What's more; someone who is lukewarm on Tennessee IS NOT the guy we want..so let's just get off the Gruden bandwagon, move on, and get this done! Next week will be the meetings that count, and coming out of those I expect an announcement. We need clarity and for whoever its to be to get out and close the recruiting gap. We are mired in the bottom 3 of the SEC teams and that MUST change.

Tru138 writes:

I guess all those know-it-all's who had all this great inside information from well connected sources actually had sources who don't know #$%^. Bunch of Nostradumarses.

Supersayin1 writes:

It's finally over! Good! Now who can we get that will get 60,000+ fans into the Orange and White game?

Are we trying to simply win 7-9 games a year or are we trying to win SEC /National Championships?

If you want to win the Big ones we need a Big time coach, with NFL and College experience, with a name that will make the best recruits fly to UT.

I don't want to measure UTs success by 7-8 win seasons, I want 10+ with Championships!!!

Volunteer-Varmint writes:

in response to Saban_Palin:

The irony and kharma of Tenn fans laughing at Bama when Shula was fired in 2006, and now they are the laughing stock of the SEC. Roll Tide

Kinda reminds me of bama in 2006. Go Vols

GET YOUR OWN WEBSITE MULLET BRAIN!!!!!

creekroad writes:

in response to volfanlostnbama:

Well, just about sums up this whole college football realm these days..."Fantasy World" & I've been a college football fan all my life--we've pushed all this way past the point of reality...I for one say its time for a reality check, if not careful we are about to push it all to the point of collapse like the rest of our culture...this has become just pure stupidity!

Best post ever written on this site

VOLFLIAM writes:

Now... Can we just get over it..And move foreward ??? I bet Terry Fair is happy !!!!! LOL

lomas98 writes:

in response to Tru138:

I guess all those know-it-all's who had all this great inside information from well connected sources actually had sources who don't know #$%^. Bunch of Nostradumarses.

That's why nobody should beleive what any poster says. They have no clue and if they had sources, they would be writing for some paper or being a reporter. Those same people will now replace Jon Gruden's name with the next supposedly hot candidate. It's pretty comical actually. If it didn't hurt our program, I wish this could get stretched out to January. The stories are hilarious.

chad954ut writes:

in response to Element_Days_Are_Over:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Very true ! The sheep are already bashing Gruden. Mr. Hart, it worked.

RoyaltyVol writes:

Wait and see, next week we hire Jimbo Fisher, all the signs are there. Backup hire I believe will be Charlie Strong.

thevoice writes:

Well, I guess that's that. Next "fantasy."

Rosie writes:

Well, this sucks. But at least we know something FOR SURE- these message board/thread writing/radio show call-ins are completely clueless and their 'in-the-know' comments are idiotic.

Supersayin1 writes:

We need Charlie Strong! I'm listening to a radio show (Eric Ainge Show)and they are saying we need Thugs on the team,and Dooley was too busy trying to stay away from players with character issues, but thats why you have coaches on the staff that would keep them in check, and mold them into model citizens.

Thank God someone told the truth! We are too busy at UT trying to get good character kids, but we are overlooking that kid down in little haiti down in Miami. Jason Swain said we need some Pitbulls on the team!! So true So true!!
He's saying Charlie Strong is the guy for the Job because he can go in and get these kids, and put them in their place despite their backgrounds and upbringing. Dooley was trying to win in the SEC Jungle with BYU type kids!

I'm glad that I wasn't the one who had to say it, but Jason Swain just did on the radio!! I agree with him. So funny, he literally said we need to go to the hood and get some of these kids! LOL!!

Those are the kids we need on Defense and other areas that require Speed,and ruthless agression!

CrankE writes:

in response to greatdaysahead:

I truly hope this is the end of the Gruden rumors. It's hard to believe how caught up UT fans have been about a guy who's only been a grad. assistant in college football. I would love to see Charlie Strong hired. I know he's new to the head coaching ranks, but 3 years in and he's going to his 2nd BCS bowl; this isn't USC, Notre Dame, Florida State, but Louisville. He is the man for the job and will do better with better resources at Tennessee.

I'd be glad for UT to bring in Charlie Strong. Probably save a lot of money over Kim JonGruden and get a guy with current, successful exeperience coaching at the college level.

Tom Jurich says he'll do whatever it takes to keep him, but UT could outbid Louisville-even with their pending move to the ACC.

bkgunter writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

"LaMonte said Hart’s call today was apparently a formality.

“He said, ‘I just wanted to do due diligence,’” LaMonte said. “I said, ‘Thank you but Jon has made it clear he’s committed to ESPN.' He thanked me and said goodbye.'"

WTF has Dave Hart been doing for the last damn week???

Can we not hire competent administrators at this University? How does your entire fan base, the people that fund your JOB, blow up over the idea that Gruden is going to come to UT and then you just call as a FORMALITY?!?

This is amazing. Dave Hart and Jimmy Cheek have turned our athletic department into the University of Virginia.

Unlike many here, he hasn't been wasting time and energy on Jon Gruden.

trace5254 writes:

If UT has any intelligence and I don't think they do (except for Dave Hart) they will run to Kirby Smart and lock him up for 5 years. He is everything Will Muschamp and Jimbo Fisher is as a coach and even more. This Gruden embarrassment will probably give Dave Hart the air cover he needs to go after Coach Smart. As a Bama man I hope you don't do it and have another 10 years of miserable existence with a half full stadium and double digit SEC losses to Vanderbilt (lol) Roll Tide!

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