It’s been several years since Jon Gruden’s name has floated around Knoxville when it comes to Tennessee’s football team. But the “Grumors” are back, and it’s thanks to Paul Finebaum.
On Finebaum’s weekly show on the SEC Network, a caller asked Finebaum about Tennessee’s head coaching situation. Butch Jones’ seat has reached its hottest point after a 41-0 blowout loss to Georgia last weekend. Many Vol fans are wanting Jones gone and are looking ahead to who Tennessee will hire after him.
Some fans, just like five years ago, are saying Jon Gruden needs to be the next head coach. It didn’t work out back in late 2012, but Finebaum doesn’t think it’s all that far-fetched now.
“If I hadn’t been to Knoxville last week, I would have laughed at you,” Finebaum explained to the caller when asked about Gruden being a candidate for the Vols should the head coaching position open up. “But I talked to someone, let me put it you that way, someone that I have a lot of trust in and that is connected deeply in that program and he told me the same thing. He said, ‘If we lose this (Georgia) game, and something happens to Butch Jones, our first choice will be Jon Gruden.’”
Gruden hasn’t coached at any level of football since 2008 when he was the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFL. Gruden has been with ESPN since 2009 as a broadcaster and on-air personality. In December of 2014, Gruden agreed to a contract extension with the company through 2021.
As of now, Butch Jones is still Tennessee’s head football coach. But if a move is made, expect to hear Gruden’s name, realistic or not, get brought up around the Vols.
After all, Gruden was a graduate assistant at the University of Tennessee, and his wife was a cheerleader at the university as well. And doesn’t he have property somewhere in East Tennessee too?