Jon Gruden script turns up in Miami with familiar ending

Someone from Miami must have been rummaging around in the dumpster outside Tom Jurich’s office for his old notes.

Speculation surrounding the search for a new football coach at Miami is strikingly similar to that which occurred in Louisville in the weeks before Steve Kragthorpe got the axe at the University of Louisville last season.

Even including the list of coaching candidates, with Jon Gruden’s name at the top.

All of the “insiders” were saying that a deal with the former Tampa Bay coach was imminent. That all they had to do was dot the I’s and cross the T’s. Ultra highly placed sources saying it was  a done deal. Flights were being tracked, people were meeting over lunch, the moving vans were next.

Jon Gruden would be announced within a day or so.

Even Colin Cowherd, a syndicated sports talk host, was saying Gruden was the guy, proclaiming Gruden would be a “rock star recruiter” or words to that effect, that Miami would go something like 48-4 over the next four seasons. Cowherd again with his unimpeachable sources.

Gruden, like last year, was saying nothing and not confirming anything. That’s because Gruden knows he’s much better off being on ESPN’s Monday Night Football. He told the San Francisco Chronicle Thursday “I knew there was a lot of speculation over the last few days, and for that, I’m sorry.”

Now fans on the Miami sports forums are throwing around names like Tommy Tuberville and Mike Leach, in another rewrite of the Louisville script from 2009. Charlie Strong’s name has been mentioned more than a few times. The only name missing is Butch Jones at Cincinnati.

Post Chuckie Withdrawal

by Tom Stosberg

It’s going to be difficult the next few days for some of us as we recover from PCW syndrome (see above). We had high hopes that Tom Jurich was going to pull off the stunt of the century – hiring Jon “Chuckie” Gruden.

But now it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. And some of us are having a little letdown. So now our spouses and friends are patting us on the heads, consoling us, telling us that it will still be okay. We’ll still get a good coach.

I guess it’s going to be alright but when you have your hopes set on getting someone who would literally blow the lid off college football … a guy who would have ESPN and every blog in the stratosphere sizzling … a bigger-than-life personality who would instantly ignite the fan base, reinvigorate recruiting and send season ticket sales soaring, it’s difficult to come back to reality.

After all, there’s nothing to indicate that TJ would even consider the possibility of hiring that particular Gruden brother, much less waste any time trying. While TJ is a visionary, he’s not reckless.

So I guess it was just a pipe dream, having Chuckie here for a couple of years with brother Jay as offensive coordinator waiting in the wings. And when Jay became head coach, Jeff Brohm taking over as OC. We’d have genuine Cardinal blood running through the system. You know, the tradition and heritage thing like the mega programs have.

So my wife advised it’s time to give up the notion and not to be sad about it. “We’ll still get a good coach”, she said. “It’ll be okay.” So I guess I’m back down to earth now.

But do you think….?

Butch Jones May Be In Louisville Mix

No informed sources,  just a hunch.

Now that Jon Gruden has signed a contract extension with ESPN, the name game begins in earnest for the successor to Steve Kragthorpe as football coach at the University of Louisville. Assuming, of course. no major upsets occur over the next two games.

Keep the name of Butch Jones in mind.

Jones is head coach at Central Michigan University which he led to the Mid-American Conference title during his first year in 2007. His team is 9-2 (7-0 conference) and is headed for a third straight bowl. Among the wins this season was a 29-27 decision over Michigan State at East Lansing. His record is 25-13.

He served as an assistant to Rich Rodriguez at West Virginia during the 2005 and 2006 seasons. Jones was considered a top candidate for the WVU post before the Mountaineers, under then interim coach Bill Stewart, knocked off Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.

Yes, Central Michigan is the same team that was coached by Brian Kelly, now at Cincinnati.

Careful What You Wish For


Okay, if one assumes that rumors that Jon Gruden is in discussions about becoming the next University of Louisville football coach have substance, just what would U of L fans be getting if talks are successful.

  • A highly respected 46-year-old coach with great name recognition, a tremendous boost for Louisville’s recruiting eforts, and an individual much of his career still in front of him.
  • The youngest coach to ever win a Super Bowl. His Tampa Bay team won the ring in 2002 with a 12-4 won-lost record. Over the next six seasons, however, his teams were 45-51. Prior to going to Tampa Bay, he coached the Oakland Raiders, compiling a 38-26 record in four seasons.

  • A coach known for having quite a temper. When Gruden has one of his frequent fits, he scrunches his face up and gains a remarkable resemblance to Chucky from the old horror movies.

With all these credentials, however, comes a significant challenge. Gruden will always be among the top three candidates for any coaching job that becomes vacant — college or professional. He already is at the top of list of numerous competing interests, possibly including Notre Dame.

Louisville will have to have deep pockets to attract and retain him. The bidding wars have already begun.