Gruden tells Tennessee no thanks

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)

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Former NFL coach Jon Gruden has told Tennessee he is not interested in pursuing the Vols’ vacant head coaching job, a source close to the UT search told the News Sentinel this morning.

The source, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said a report today in the Chattanooga Times Free Press that Gruden had been offered the job was not accurate.

Gruden, who won a Super Bowl 10 years ago as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is in his fourth season as a commentator for Monday Night Football, where he is one of ESPN’s star personalities.

The source said Tennessee reached out to Gruden late last week, but after discussing matters with his family, Gruden declined to pursue the job. The source said no financial figures were discussed and no contract was offered.

Earlier this week, a Memphis television station reported that Gruden was being offered a stake in the Cleveland Browns NFL franchise as part of a deal to coach at Tennessee. The Browns and Gruden strongly denied the report, although Gruden stopped short of promising to return to ESPN in 2013.

Most observers expected Gruden to eventually return to the pro ranks, where there could be several attractive job opportunities after this season.

Gruden has little college coaching experience, although he was a graduate assistant at

UT in 1986. His wife Cindy is a former Vol cheerleader.

Gruden’s agent, Bob LaMonte, has not returned calls and texts from the News Sentinel.

Hart was expected to leave Sunday or Monday for New York City to interview candidates at the National Football Foundation’s annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer is being inducted Tuesday.

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

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Comments » 390

mbible1utk#324980 writes:

first....and hope Dave Hart watches some Goodfellas... _______ you, pay Gruden!

tnfanincali writes:

Would be great for recruiting, where we have fallen so far behind all of our rivals, and he seems to be a pretty decent coach. Wouldn't expect him to stick around for too long, but think he could at least bring us back in terms of national prestige. Hire Gruden to get us caught up to our conference rivals in depth and talent, then bring in a hot young coach on his way up in a few years once the Tennessee brand has been reestablished as a national power. I sure would love to know who these guys are he has apparently already contacted to be on his new staff!

bigorangetrain writes:

Come on already!!!! Either he is in or out but it's December and we need to get recruiting going!!

Geofffourmyle writes:

I hope Coach Gruden feels as if he needs to go one more round in the barrel, let it all hang out and see what he can do.

He'd want to go head to head against the very best, with the best chance of success and that opportunity is on The Hill.

Parenthetically, I bet "Your Cheating" Hart will prove to have been the sand in the gears in this process and I wouldn't be surprised to see him moved out in the not too distant future.

Walt

UT'81

PUL4VOLS writes:

How about all this? Gruden had been medially dismissed and now we discover he does have an offer, met with UT etc. I bet the media-ites do not like this. Still, it does not indicate he is for sure coming. In fact it keeps the fanicious hope alive.
For those of you(see earlier post)who want him to come in, hype us up, build us up, then leave and we get a "hot" young coach, that is easier said than done but it could be how things play out. Let's see what happens in the next few days.

kingmufasa76 writes:

smokescreen

atnvol#283282 writes:

What.....Howdy Doody Hyams did not get the scoop. Hyams needs to retire....he thinks too much of himself.

Katphan29 writes:

in response to tnfanincali:

Would be great for recruiting, where we have fallen so far behind all of our rivals, and he seems to be a pretty decent coach. Wouldn't expect him to stick around for too long, but think he could at least bring us back in terms of national prestige. Hire Gruden to get us caught up to our conference rivals in depth and talent, then bring in a hot young coach on his way up in a few years once the Tennessee brand has been reestablished as a national power. I sure would love to know who these guys are he has apparently already contacted to be on his new staff!

If Gruden comes to UT, he'll stay around. Its not like he is downtrodden and looking to make a name for himself and then move on. Good luck luck!

JonGrudensAgent writes:

My client has chosen to state that he is very happy in the world of broadcasting with the ESPN family of networks. He appreciates the passion of the Vol fans in Knoxville and those around the world and he is flattered by all the interest.

However, he is currently gainfully employed in a fabulous position at MNF.

punkin writes:

in response to PUL4VOLS:

How about all this? Gruden had been medially dismissed and now we discover he does have an offer, met with UT etc. I bet the media-ites do not like this. Still, it does not indicate he is for sure coming. In fact it keeps the fanicious hope alive.
For those of you(see earlier post)who want him to come in, hype us up, build us up, then leave and we get a "hot" young coach, that is easier said than done but it could be how things play out. Let's see what happens in the next few days.

I've enjoyed the medial circus around JG. The Knoxville media has been pulling stories from every corner because they don't have any inside sources and Dave Hart has kept it quiet. Watching the media trip over their own feet has been hilarious.

Rock85 writes:

TENNESSEE How would you like to lose GRUDEN over Asst Coach money??? WE THE TENNESSEE FANS WILL FIND OUT IF THEY ARE AS DEDICATED TO US AS WE HAVE BEEN THEM...

Rock85 writes:

The sports Animal Is refusing to report this.. On air live 30 min ...Not a word...

jimr07 writes:

in response to andforhisnexttune:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Sources means you heard it somewhere. lol

SummittsCourt writes:

This is beyond silly.

LSG410EC83 writes:

Am ready for sure to have the position filled. Just hope if he does get it, he will not bolt off if offered a pro head coaching job. Program needs a little stability for a while. Hope he does keep some of the staff (Offense side, not defense) That way, if for some reason he is a one or two and done there will still be some stability. Whatever happens, ready to see UT begin climbing back to being a competitive program. IT IS GREAT TO BE A TENNESSEE VOL. GO BIG ORANGE.

pcshowtime writes:

Pay the assistants as much as need be that is how you recruit to UT good assistants recruiting. Dave hart do not fudge this up.

I am a vol fan trapped in bama and I can tell you this feels so much like when they hired saban. be our coach? NO be our coach? no be our coach? Yes. I can also tell you bama fans fear this hire like one booster said on the radio what 18 yr old does not want to play for gruden. I want this hire to happen where

I can call Finebaum and tell him he does know a darn thing and he was wrong.

orange_glory writes:

we have gruden if we just pony up some more cash for assistants. how freakin unbelievable is that news

orange_glory writes:

the conspiracy theorists will be in full force if hart screws this up. gruden is ours with just a little more money. i don't see how hart can't give him what he wants now that its known to the public(if true). we are at the finish line now lean forward and stick out your nose and win

Orange_Power_T writes:

Anyone ever think this is intentional? The leaks, the denials, unconfirmed sources? I think it is a ploy to make more of a spalsh and get Gru's name circulating. Remember there's no such thing as bad publicity if it is played properly. He's not even officially our coach yet he's getting national attention. If I were walking in to a program that is at a low and knew I needed to recruit- what would I do.......hmmmmm? All this is by design and cleverly done. Every senior high school player is aware of this cliffhanger. The longer this takes, the better. Shades of Kiffin but with higher morals.

Shake_Bake writes:

in response to CantCompare:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

LOL!!!! That's a great point!

BigOrangeSports writes:

As we move closer to the cliff............

LCPanthers (Inactive) writes:

in response to JonGrudensAgent:

My client has chosen to state that he is very happy in the world of broadcasting with the ESPN family of networks. He appreciates the passion of the Vol fans in Knoxville and those around the world and he is flattered by all the interest.

However, he is currently gainfully employed in a fabulous position at MNF.

yea right do not believe a word

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

I've got a feeling Gruden is about to get a big raise from ESPN.

HallowedHill writes:

UT's AD should set up a donation site for the Gruden fund. I really don't think getting the extra money for his assistants will be a big deal.

smugolf08 writes:

I will wait to see what happens...much like the government...nothing is for sure until it happens

CMKSIDESHOW writes:

Gruden is definetly the smokescreen for the real coach. Gruden is not coming to Tennessee or he would already be here.

JIM TRESSEL will be the next head coach at TENNESSEE. By keeping Grudens name out there they know that is the one person everybody in media and fan base will lock their eyes on. Bring on the Sweater Vest.

atnvol#283282 writes:

in response to CMKSIDESHOW:

Gruden is definetly the smokescreen for the real coach. Gruden is not coming to Tennessee or he would already be here.

JIM TRESSEL will be the next head coach at TENNESSEE. By keeping Grudens name out there they know that is the one person everybody in media and fan base will lock their eyes on. Bring on the Sweater Vest.

Tressel can't coach anywhere for sometime yet because of a showcause restriction....just ask Brucie Pearl how it is.

CMKSIDESHOW writes:

4:52 AM is when this article was posted REALLY! Supposedly Gruden has been mulling over this job for the last what 30 days now, paying this guy with no college football experience even 6 million dollars ayear is ludicrous . Because if he stinks Tennessee would never EVER recover. Just food for thought. GA doesn't count as experience.

smugolf08 writes:

I live in Texas and the word here is the high school coaches best friends neighbor heard that Gruden will not be the new coach

ArmyDad writes:

in response to Rock85:

The sports Animal Is refusing to report this.. On air live 30 min ...Not a word...

You expect them to read the paper this early?

Three blind mice.

CMKSIDESHOW writes:

Bring on the SWEATER VEST. The delay in this hiring is getting the NCAA stuff cleared. The extra money that UT came up with was to clear this stuff up before the announcement.

Tennessee Volunteers new head football coach will be : JIM TRESSEL

dvhill100 writes:

Somebody needs to put a tent over this circus.

trek writes:

in response to Rock85:

The sports Animal Is refusing to report this.. On air live 30 min ...Not a word...

That's because he's smart enough not to fall for the hype without hearing it from his own sources. I've been tuning in to that show for the last few days, and those guys are being very cautious about what they say till they know facts. One guy has been saying all along that he gives the Gruden hire a 5% chance of happening.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to CMKSIDESHOW:

Bring on the SWEATER VEST. The delay in this hiring is getting the NCAA stuff cleared. The extra money that UT came up with was to clear this stuff up before the announcement.

Tennessee Volunteers new head football coach will be : JIM TRESSEL

OMG...quit.

CMKSIDESHOW writes:

Monte Kiffin resigned I guess that means he is going to reunite with Jon Gruden and come back to Tennessee LMAO. They are going to reunite alright back in the National Football League. If Jon Gruden coaches anywhere it will be for DALLAS COWBOYS or CLEVELAND BROWNS

feathersax writes:

Don't ya just love sports "journalism"? From Chattanooga to Memphis to Knoxville....those 'un-named sources' are a riot.

Rugby2 writes:

in response to smugolf08:

I live in Texas and the word here is the high school coaches best friends neighbor heard that Gruden will not be the new coach

I heard that here in Florida also... same source. Good reporting.

Give Blood Play Rugby

jaydubuc writes:

in response to LSG410EC83:

Am ready for sure to have the position filled. Just hope if he does get it, he will not bolt off if offered a pro head coaching job. Program needs a little stability for a while. Hope he does keep some of the staff (Offense side, not defense) That way, if for some reason he is a one or two and done there will still be some stability. Whatever happens, ready to see UT begin climbing back to being a competitive program. IT IS GREAT TO BE A TENNESSEE VOL. GO BIG ORANGE.

I still don't understand why everyone thinks if Gruden comes to TN, that he will leave in a few years for a NFL coaching job. He has that opportunity now.

tomatosoup writes:

in response to smugolf08:

I will wait to see what happens...much like the government...nothing is for sure until it happens

How funny smugolf08...I live in Northern, VA and work for the Governemnt down in D.C.....and your comment actually made me chuckle. Go Vols and whomever UT selects, let's just get it done!

SavTnVol writes:

Watched the Tennessee State High School championship football game last night. Sure hope the new UT coach takes a close look, and works, to get that Corn Elder kid to the Hill. The play by play dudes kept saying that he would be a good fit for Urban and the Buckeyes next year. Hope they're wrong!

Rebelsfball2008 writes:

heard from a couple of friends well tied to the situation that Gruden would be announced on Friday with 8 year 55 million dollar contract

.....heard that last Sunday and i didn't believe it... now it seems more likely than ever...especially since it meets the timeline of things going on in the national stage perfectly...HS state championships are just ending...SECCG....Recruiting is starting full boar...i would be willing to bet this deal has been done for a while and they are just leaking stuff out that gives it more drama...extremely smart idea..

Rumblefish writes:

This Gruden stuff is getting rediculous. Again....he and his agent are using UT (and the other SEC openings) as a money grab. Did the SAME THING last time UT was looking for a coach. And he got a nice pay raise from ESPN in doing so!

Jim Tressle???--He does have a show cause order, and would have to sit out the first 5 games of the year, as well as a bowl game (IF Tenn got to one). Add to that...the NCAA would have to renew their lease on their apartment on the Knoxville campus. We don't need that.

I say take the Gruden $$ and throw it at Chip Kelly out at Oregon.

BolivrBob writes:

Come on home Cindy Cindy, come on home Cindy Cindy

pcshowtime writes:

in response to Rumblefish:

This Gruden stuff is getting rediculous. Again....he and his agent are using UT (and the other SEC openings) as a money grab. Did the SAME THING last time UT was looking for a coach. And he got a nice pay raise from ESPN in doing so!

Jim Tressle???--He does have a show cause order, and would have to sit out the first 5 games of the year, as well as a bowl game (IF Tenn got to one). Add to that...the NCAA would have to renew their lease on their apartment on the Knoxville campus. We don't need that.

I say take the Gruden $$ and throw it at Chip Kelly out at Oregon.

I would love chip kelly but he is in semi ncaa hot water investigation coming. They say due to this he is jumping to the NFL. Funny thing is kelly in the nfl seems more of a risk than gruden in college.

Rebelsfball2008 writes:

in response to Rumblefish:

This Gruden stuff is getting rediculous. Again....he and his agent are using UT (and the other SEC openings) as a money grab. Did the SAME THING last time UT was looking for a coach. And he got a nice pay raise from ESPN in doing so!

Jim Tressle???--He does have a show cause order, and would have to sit out the first 5 games of the year, as well as a bowl game (IF Tenn got to one). Add to that...the NCAA would have to renew their lease on their apartment on the Knoxville campus. We don't need that.

I say take the Gruden $$ and throw it at Chip Kelly out at Oregon.

the thing is last time we were hiring and the grumors were around...he took it off the shelf within a couple of days..this time it has made it farther than ever... at 1st it was just smoke.. now i can see the glow of fire ... and there is too much of both for something not to be true..

txvolsfan writes:

wake me up when a press conference is called. Looks like Auburn will get Petrino and not sure we should not have went after him because he knows he is on his 3rd strike and will be on best behavior and at the end of the day,"He Wins"
GO VOLS
TXVOLSFAN

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

Dave Hart...pay the man's staff. Gruden in the living room, a top-flight staff calling plays on gameday and developing players, players will recruit themselves.

Hart needs to look at this as an investment.

Colts_VolFan writes:

I heard from a very reliable source that the new coach will be coach T from the Toyota commercials. They say he is a recruiting machine.

Rumblefish writes:

in response to pcshowtime:

I would love chip kelly but he is in semi ncaa hot water investigation coming. They say due to this he is jumping to the NFL. Funny thing is kelly in the nfl seems more of a risk than gruden in college.

agree. there were rumors of Kelly going to the NFL last year. i really don't think his system would work in the NFL.

brod writes:

when tradition fails, money talks.

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