In a story that certain to dominate collegiate headlines until there’s some official word one way or the other, the Miami Herald reports today could be the day Miami learns whether or not there’s a realistic shot at ripping Jon Gruden out of the broadcast booth and tossing him onto the Hurricanes sidelines next season.
While one report has the final details in the process of being hammered out, several members of the school’s Board of Trustees told the Herald that they are not at that point yet with Gruden.
Instead, the paper reports, athletic director Kirby Hocutt will travel to Tampa Wednesday and meet with Gruden to gauge his interest in the position. It’s been reported that Gruden had initially brushed off overtures from the school, but has since begun to gradually warm up to a return to a college game he’s been away from coaching-wise for nearly two decades.
By most accounts, though, Gruden is far and away The U’s top choice to replace Randy Shannon. Money is not expected to be an issue — and it’d better not be as Gruden will likely be seeking $3 million-plus annually to be lured out of the booth and into the collegiate ranks — but there are some within the program concerned that Gruden could ditch the Hurricanes in a couple of years if the NFL came calling.
If Miami is unable to convince Gruden to accept the job, or if they are unable to reach an agreement, the Herald reports the school has compiled a list of other candidates from which they’ll begin to work off of. According to the Herald, that lists includes Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen, Stanford’s Jim Harbaugh, Connecticut’s Randy Edsall, Utah’s Kyle Whittingham and Arizona’s Mike Stoops, plus at least two others names that a trustee would not reveal.
It’s believed Mullen would be Hocutt’s top choice if he can’t land Gruden. As a preemptive strike against that, MSU is reportedly working on a new four-year deal for their second-year head coach.