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Report: Gruden tells Vols ‘thanks, but no thanks’

Jon Gruden AP

In the post right below this one, we noted that curiously missing from one prominent gambling website’s odds on favorites to land the Tennessee job is the one individual most often connected to the opening.

Apparently, the degenerates know what the hell they’re talking about.

In the latest, and hopefully the last, dot connecting Jon Gruden to UT, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported overnight that the Vols have made what’s described by sources close to the process as a very lucrative offer to the current ESPN personality. Based on the Chattanooga paper’s report, the only thing standing in the way of a consummation is money that would be devoted to assembling a coaching staff.

Or, ya know, the candidate actually agreeing to the opportunity in the first place.

According to Jimmy Hyams of WNML radio in Knoxville, Gruden, while he appreciated the opportunity, “is OUT as a candidate” for the Vols’ coaching job.  Gruden reportedly informed UT officials of his decision after phone conversations — but apparently no face-to-face meetings — took place over the past week.

Hyams went on to write via Twitter that “UT athletic director Dave Hart will continue to interview candidates in New York next week.”  An announcement on a new coach, per Hyams, is expected in the next 7-10 days.

UPDATED 9:33 a.m. ET: NFL insider Mike Freeman, one of the most respected names in the big-boy league game, has confirmed Hyams’ report via Twitter.

“Reported earlier this week Gruden would speak with Tennessee AD. He has and source close to Gruden confirms he told the Vols no thanks,” he wrote.

Freeman then got to the heart of what many observers have felt about the whole Gruden-to-Vols phenomenon: the man who has not coached at any level since 2008 loved being pursued by colleges as he leveraged a return to the NFL sidelines.

“I”m told Gruden’s interest was moderate at best,” wrote Freeman. “To me, Gruden just wanted to be wooed, and use the Vols as bait for pro teams.”

UPDATED 10:59 a.m. ET: The Knoxville News Sentinel is the latest to report Gruden is no longer a candidate, writing that “Gruden has told Tennessee he is not interested in pursuing the Vols’ vacant head coaching job.”

Per a source, the News Sentinel states that Gruden decided against pursuing the job after discussing the opportunity with his family.

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22 Responses to “Report: Gruden tells Vols ‘thanks, but no thanks’”
  1. coolhorn46 says: Nov 30, 2012 9:22 AM

    Sometimes, the best hire is the one you don’t make.

  2. panthrobro says: Nov 30, 2012 9:22 AM

    I never even thought for a second he would coach at Tennessee. This has been a non story since the beginning.

  3. alligatorsnapper says: Nov 30, 2012 9:31 AM

    So much for the report on previous blogs here by a vol that they have had an ongoing search for almost a year. Apparently, that was a year’s waste of time. Maybe they will do better in the next weeks when they actually search.

  4. truefootballinsight says: Nov 30, 2012 9:52 AM


  5. mogogo1 says: Nov 30, 2012 10:32 AM

    I never thought he’d take that job. He seems to really enjoy announcing and every NFL job has him on the short list. The number of guys who are in demand in the NFL and bypass that to go coach in college is very short. Recruiting is a pain, there’s a million potential violations just waiting to happen, and there’d be as much pressure to win at Tennesseee as he’d have in the NFL.

  6. brutusbuckeye2011 says: Nov 30, 2012 10:40 AM

    I wish I had as many people offering me a high paying job as Gruden does.

  7. effjohntaylornorelation says: Nov 30, 2012 10:52 AM

    Can you imagine the irreparable damage he would have done to so many young men in a college setting. Tennessee may not realize it but many a boy will become a better man without Gruden having an influence in their development as men.

  8. cometkazie says: Nov 30, 2012 11:04 AM

    coolhorn46 says:
    Nov 30, 2012 9:22 AM
    Sometimes, the best hire is the one you don’t make.

    Isn’t that the truth?!?!?!?

    However, his hire would be a boon to sports blogs. Everyone would be watching and commenting.

  9. delashmit says: Nov 30, 2012 11:36 AM

    I never thought Gruden would go to Tennessee or any college. He just used this to up his ante with ESPN which is a high paying cushy job. He also used this to stoke his overinflated ego. Maybe now we can get down to the job of finding a real college coach. Charlie Strong, Butch Jones are candidates who may come. We are in dire straits.

  10. canetic says: Nov 30, 2012 11:41 AM

    Gruden does this every year. Two years ago it was Miami. I forget who it was last year. He just wants to keep his name in the press as a coaching candidate to keep his quote up. He’s not going to coach college. He’s an NFL coach.

  11. iowahbr says: Nov 30, 2012 12:01 PM

    We all would have been so much better off. His work on MNF is so much resume flashing and so boring. Never a negative comment no matter how bad the action is on the field. The man’s collection of over-used football cliche’s is amazing.

  12. thegamecocker says: Nov 30, 2012 12:18 PM

    Paul Feinbaum says Gruden makes about $5 mil a year doing what he does. Why in the world would he ever want to coach again? Look at the success John Madden had as a color analyst. He left coaching and could have had a number of coaching jobs. Folks, it’s all about the money and the life-style.

  13. imaduffer says: Nov 30, 2012 12:27 PM

    Who’s Jon Gruden?

  14. houndofthebaskervols says: Nov 30, 2012 1:05 PM

    “Maybe they will do better in the next weeks when they actually search.”

    LOL Snapper, while I appreciate your little weak attempt to be cute, maybe you should start reading the things I actually say, and not what you thought I said. And the first thing I said about Gruden was this…”UT has as much chance as landing Gruden as Fulmer has of being elected president of MENSA.” I also said “never underestimate UT’s ability to {ferk} this up.”

    And I guess I need to remind you that Tennessee had a coach under contract up til two weeks ago, so the “search” is an underground operation, highlighted by the fact that UT has not employed any third party to assist, and punctuated by the fact that the AD, Dave Hart, has not even left campus since Dooley was fired. It was always Gruden, then there is a short list of other candidates that have been agreed on by the people who are actually doing the legwork with the AD.

    I’ve also posted the job criteria and listed the two coaches that meet all the caveats….Petersen and Patterson and they aren’t going anywhere. There are no candidates. This thing with Arkansas and Miles this week should give you an idea of how big this problem is, talk about a sign of desperation. Arky has been actively searching for Petrino’s replacement for 8 months and THATS the best they can do?

    Are you still with me? Am I going to have to come back in January and qualify this post for you?

    My personal opinion is that after Dave Doeren kicks the crap out of Ball State tonite they should hire the guy immediately. That wont happen but it should. This Tressel thing is hilarious, they aint going to hire a Big 10 coach…not happening, especially one with warts. I’m guessing the Butch Davis sweepstakes are underway. Three big jobs open in the SEC and not one single soul has any clue what is going on, or who will fill any one of these spots. Its baffling.

  15. beelza says: Nov 30, 2012 2:24 PM

    when your shrink tells you it might be a good idea for you to write down your thoughts, he didn’t mean to filibust sports blogs. He meant get your own blog, or keep a hand written journal.

  16. thegamecocker says: Nov 30, 2012 2:33 PM


    What’s wrong with you? You don’t enjoy reading or what? I thoroughly enjoy reading the “hounds” posts. He is one poster who can actually string words together in a coherent thought. If you REALLY want to laugh, you might come across some dik-weed named “JONKYBON”. He’s one meal short of a Happy Meal.

  17. beelza says: Nov 30, 2012 2:38 PM

    Chucky- you are the Detroit Lions final hope. They meet your requirements with big-time QB and WR. You like old skool, hard-nosed, sack-blastin’, vicious, criminal, ruthless D-line men, that treats QB’s like rape victims and conjures a vile and destructive hate for all humanity…What else good can I say about Suh. C’mon Chucky, you know you want to scheme for Stafford and Megatron.

  18. chucklewis13 says: Nov 30, 2012 4:45 PM

    Why do these idiot college and pro administrator continue to dance with the devil (Gruden). This song and dance goes on all year and each year, Gruden ruminates, then hesitates and then says he is sticking with ESPN. I am certain the Vols time could have been better spent looking at other candidates not named Gruden. What is so fascinating about Grudeno other than his gift for gab? Came he leap tall buildings in a single bounce? Can he bend steel with his bare hands? He faster than a speeding bullets? I think not. The prosecution rests.

  19. tg1896 says: Nov 30, 2012 5:49 PM

    You Gruden bashers are an absolute scream. Let’s see – people come to you asking you to accept huge amounts of money and adulation and somehow you’re a bad guy. Yeah – that makes a lot of sense. Please show me where he has EVER asked to be interviewed. You can’t do it, cuz it never happened.

    Gruden makes $5MM/year because he’s entertaining as hell. You don’t like him…….fine. As long as you realize you’re in the minority.

  20. abrellbama says: Nov 30, 2012 8:03 PM

    If you really want Gruden, you have to fly to where he is and MAKE HIM AN OFFER HE CAN’T refuse. I don’t know if Tennessee has the funds to do it like Bama did. That may be why Tennessee is having such a hard time. You have to offer in the $5 mil range to get a Gruden type person. Tennessee only paid Dooley $2 million a year. You won’t get a great coach paying that low of money. You have to make it attractive and if Gruden already makes $5 mil a year, then you have to up it to $6-7 mil a year. It’s GOT to be so attractive that he can’t refuse it.

  21. houndofthebaskervols says: Nov 30, 2012 11:23 PM


    Gruden is making 4.3mil, Tennessee’s offer is over 6mil but what a lot of people dont seem to get is this….when you are making that kind of money, and are happy with what you are doing, a 50 percent raise doesnt mean shit. Chris Petersen is a perfect example of this, he could juice his salary by at least 3mil a year if he left Boise, but do you see him moving anytime soon?

    The Vols are fine financially, Dooley was a unique situation. Kiffin skipped town 3 weeks before Signing Day, Dooley was hired 15 days before NSD…who the hell wants that job?

  22. gfj7000 says: Dec 1, 2012 2:00 PM

    Gruden just trying to keep his name marketable amongst the College teams – to show ESPN what he’s worth to get a raise. He’ll never be more marketable than Saban, Miles, or Chip Kelly – so, ‘hang it up’ Mr. Gruden – Mr. Money-hungry’ – you don’t qualify – nor would you get it. Stick with ESPN, they need your announcer/game advisement capabilities better than you’d do on the field!

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