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Gruden may meet with Vols this week… or not

Jon Gruden, John Daly AP

Let’s get this out of the way: we have been led to believe by multiple individuals that in no way, shape or form will Jon Gruden actually pull the trigger on a job at the collegiate level, whether it be Tennessee, Arkansas or any other campus to which he’s been connected.

Instead, the greater likelihood is that Gruden will either step back onto the sidelines — after what would be a five-year absence — at the NFL level or remain in his cushy, multi-million dollar broadcasting gig.

Maddeningly, though, the will he/won’t he headline above is directly related to Gruden’s latest fingernails-on-a-chalkboard flirtation with an FBS job.

Even before Derek Dooley was dismissed as Tennessee’s coach last week, there was push by fans and even some in the media for Gruden to ride in on his blonde horse and save the storied Vols program.  In a connect-the-dots way, Chucky makes perfect sense; his wife went to school at UT, Gruden was a Vols grad assistant in the mid-80s and he and his wife own property in the state.

Forget the fact that he hasn’t coached in the college ranks in over two decades, or at any level in half a one for that matter; he above anyone else is the elixir for all the ails Rocky Top, the common line of thinking in that area goes.

Earlier this month, there was speculation that an announcement on Gruden’s hiring was not a matter of if but when.  That didn’t happen.  A report then surfaced Tuesday night that new Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, a well-heeled UT booster, had offered Gruden an ownership stake in the NFL franchise as part of his signing on as the Vols head coach.  Both the Browns and Gruden denied the report of such a deal, which would’ve likely stepped across multiple NFL/NCAA lines if it had a shred of truth to it.

The latest development in the Race for Chucky is that a meeting between UT and the former coach scheduled for Wednesday was canceled, per a tweet from Knoxville radio host Jimmy Hyams.  Mike Freeman of followed that up a short time later with a tweet that read “Gruden may meet with Vols AD later this week, I’m told.”

The qualifier? “But Gruden’s main goal is heading back to pros,” Freeman succinctly wrote at the end of the tweet.

And thus the circus ends up right back where it began: Gruden is in like with a college job, but one a level up is what really makes his heart flutter and toes straighten.

In December of 2010, Gruden met with then-Miami athletic director Kirby Hocutt to discuss the Hurricanes’ vacancy.  Nothing came of that meeting; in the end, it’s likely lather, rinse, repeat with this latest round of Gruden speculation as it relates to UT specifically and college football in particular.

Or not.

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18 Responses to “Gruden may meet with Vols this week… or not”
  1. dumbpollack says: Nov 28, 2012 6:19 PM

    I think he ends up in Cleveland next year

  2. John Taylor says: Nov 28, 2012 6:26 PM

    As a lifelong Browns fan, I hope you’re… dunno if I hope you’re right or wrong. I just hope Shurmur is gone, honestly.

  3. mldean71 says: Nov 28, 2012 6:42 PM

    Gruden is waiting on the Dallas Cowboy job to open up. The only problem with Dallas is that Norv Turner & Sean Payton will be available.

  4. houndofthebaskervols says: Nov 28, 2012 6:48 PM

    If there is a meeting forthcoming, then Gruden is doing it just to appease wifey, her family, and the worshipping UT fan base. He’s not stupid.

    Tennessee has as much chance of hiring John Gruden as David Duke has of being named the ADL’s Man of the Year. Not happening. I’m on the Al Golden train now.

  5. dalucks says: Nov 28, 2012 6:53 PM

    UT is about to get used for a pay raise like Les Miles used Arkansas for his pay raise at LSU. John Gruden is only using UT as a option to get more money out of all the other teams trying to hire him.
    This should be good, but probably not how UT fans want it to be.
    Car salesmen, politicians and college football coaches are the worst liars walking this Earth.

  6. sparty0n says: Nov 28, 2012 8:18 PM

    Ask yourself, would you rather work in Knoxville or Cleveland???? I think UT would be perfect for him, and I’m not even a Vols fan.

  7. 35longmiles says: Nov 28, 2012 8:54 PM

    A good friend of mine in Knoxville is a teacher at a private school that Gruden was looking at for his kids this week.

  8. canehouse says: Nov 28, 2012 9:59 PM

    Why in the hottest part of HELL would Dallas ever hire Norv Turner?? He is recycled riff raff. What conclusion brings you to the S.P. will be available…. is New Orleans gonna forget how great he IS???

  9. hines86for6 says: Nov 28, 2012 10:22 PM

    If Gruden does in fact take a college job, I guarantee it’s Tennessee.

    Say what you will, however unlikely it may be, this is starting to feel like Meyer to OSU or Saban to Alabubba.

  10. hines86for6 says: Nov 28, 2012 10:24 PM

    If they can’t get Gruden, Tenn should go after Gary Patterson in a big way.

  11. bozosforall says: Nov 28, 2012 11:44 PM

    whoreofthebastardvols…your pathetic program will continue to suck no matter which coach gets hired at Tenn. Kind of like how paulhargis53 will continue to show that he is an idiot on the PBT board.

  12. houndofthebaskervols says: Nov 28, 2012 11:54 PM

    Hey Bozo, I’m sorry but do you actually believe that you are the first person named Bozo that has any credibility>? I’m afraid I got bad news for you. LOL

  13. badgerbuck says: Nov 28, 2012 11:55 PM

    Gruden is not going to the college game.there is going to be to many pro openings to fill.he will have his pick

  14. beanocook says: Nov 29, 2012 12:51 AM

    Gruden to Tenn makes sense. Esp with the Browns ownership piece.

    Saban will take Browns job after he whips UGA and ND. Cleveland will pay him $10 million to coach and GM.

  15. thegeneral7694 says: Nov 29, 2012 1:38 AM


    I thought you just died recently. Congratulations on your remarkable recovery. Anyway, Gruden to UT (or any other college job) makes NO sense, actually…kind of like Saban going to the Browns. And it makes even LESS sense that Jimmy Haslam would go on the hook for 50 or 60 million for a coach who didn’t do well in the NFL, and who will tell anybody who will listen how much he hated the NFL…and if he hated the NFL in Miami, he’d REALLY hate it in Cleveland. We in Tennessee are very familiar with the Haslams, and they didn’t get where they are by making appallingly idiotic business decisions like the one you’re suggesting.
    I do think Bama whips UGA and ND, though, so we agree on one thing.

  16. 35longmiles says: Nov 29, 2012 6:42 AM

    dumbpollack says:
    Nov 28, 2012 6:19 PM
    I think he ends up in Cleveland next year
    I think he ends up in a luxury bus next year getting paid millions to do nothing.

  17. jimbo75025 says: Nov 29, 2012 11:01 AM

    35longmiles says:
    Nov 28, 2012 8:54 PM
    A good friend of mine in Knoxville is a teacher at a private school that Gruden was looking at for his kids this week.

    Well considering he has owned a house there for years, even if this is true you do not think that this could just be “normal life”? That being said, if Gruden was even seen in Knoxville doing anything right now-even buying gas or a cup of coffee at Weigels there would be photos of it all over the internet. If he does meet with Dave Hart, I would wager a rather large amount it is going to be far, far away from Knoxville.

    If Gruden does end up at UT, it is going to be because his wife is pushing him to coach there so she live where she wants (ie near her family and where she went to school) and he can be closeby and not halfway across the country.

  18. vols84 says: Nov 29, 2012 6:07 PM

    If Gruden doesn’t come, go get Larry Fedora.

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