Jon Gruden won't deny it. ESPN has no comment on Gruden and the University of Miami. This much we do know: The "U" wants Gruden. But how mutual is that feeling?
Jon Gruden was fired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the 2008 season, following a second straight 9-7 finish. Gruden did win a Super Bowl in Tampa Bay, but many feel he did so using the talent assembled by Tony Dungy, who was coaching the Indianapolis Colts.
Jon Gruden is a motivator. He is a coach who survives on rhetoric and scowls to get his players to perform at high levels. He is young, and will appeal to college athletes because of his work on Monday Night Football and as a former NFL coach.
Looking at the landscape of college football, former NFL coaches are doing quite well. Nick Saban won a national championship at Alabama last season. Bobby Petrino went from the Atlanta Falcons to Arkansas and has built a competitor.
Butch Davis had a team at North Carolina that could have won the ACC, until his players started taking money from agents and lost their eligibility. Now is the time for Jon Gruden, or any former NFL coach, to head to the college game.
The money at Miami will not be great. As a private institution, Miami cannot rely on state funds to pay their football coach, but they can rely on alumni and donors to come up with enough money to lure a high-profile coach like Gruden to Coral Gables. And Miami has nothing if not a long list of famous alums.
Something to consider is Gruden's son, Michael, who will be a senior in high school next year. Gruden will not want to pull his son from one high school in Tampa and move him across the country to start up at a new school.
If Gruden were to take a job in Miami, his family could stay in Tampa for the next one to two years without losing valuable hours traveling home to see each other.
When you consider the proximity to family, no job makes more sense than Miami for Jon Gruden.
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