Could Jon Gruden get back into coaching someday?
Following Tennessee’s debacle of a 2012 season, the Vols fired Derek Dooley and fans screamed for Gruden. The athletic department went after him hard, but the former Super Bowl winning coach did not bite.
He has a cushy job as a Monday Night Football announcer, no pressure to win or lose games and no need to work 18 hours a day like those with head positions right now.
That’s not to say he hasn’t thought about picking up the whistle again.
“I just turned 50 years old,” he told 95.7 The Game in San Francisco, via Coaching Search. “I feel like I am coaching, really, in the current job I have. I get an opportunity to study a lot of film, be around the players, see a lot of facilities, watching practice. I do get the itch a lot. I miss it tremendously.
“There are some things, though, I don’t miss at all. There are a lot of things I don’t understand what a CBA is, what an illegal hit is. I don’t know if (former players) could survive in today’s game. But I do have an ambition to coach some day. But I do appreciate where I am and the job I have now, and I want to get better at it.”
When asked about a timetable, however, Gruden stopped short of giving any sort of concrete answer.
“I don’t think you can plan for it,” he said. “I never planned on being a head coach. I never planned on being a coordinator. I never planned on being on Monday Night Football. Sometimes, opportunities come in the middle of the night.
“I never thought I’d get traded from the Raiders. I never thought I’d get fired from Tampa. Life is a funny thing. I’m just going to try to prepare myself the best I can to be a good dad and be right for when the Lord calls my name. If another opportunity comes, I’ll be ready.”
Gruden coached the Raiders from 1998-2001. From there, like he mentioned, he was traded to Tampa and proceeded to win the 2002 Super Bowl. He remained aboard until 2008, when he was fired, and entered the announcer’s booth in 2009.
He has not coached at the collegiate level since he worked with Pitt’s wide receivers in 1998. However, with potentially Texas and USC both on the hunt for new head coaches this offseason, you can bet that neither will care how long it’s been since he coached up student-athletes.
But would either of those jobs pull him away from MNF?