Former Raiders and Bucs head coach Jon Gruden, now an NFL analyst with ESPN, spoke to officials from the University of Miami yesterday, but Gruden said he was keeping all his options open, including potential NFL head coaching jobs, according to the Miami Herald.
That means Miami will move on in its search for a new head coach, and Gruden, in his second year as ESPN's Monday Night Football analyst, will stay put for now. ESPN executive vice president Norby Williamson said on a conference call yesterday that he expects Gruden to remain with the network for the 2011 season, but Gruden may be open to taking a NFL head coaching job if offered.
Gruden, nicknamed "Chucky" because of his likeness to the Chucky doll, has shot up to the top of the list of prospective NFL head coaches, along with former Steelers Super Bowl winning head coach Bill Cowher.
According to the Herald, a UM Board of Trustee member said that Gruden was "cordial. He listened to everything UM had to say, but no offer was made. He said he didn't want to go further because he is keeping all options open, including the NFL."
Said Williamson: "My feeling is Jon is in Year 2 of a long-term contract, and we expect Jon to be on Monday Night Football doing what he's been doing, for a long time to come."
The Herald reports there are five candidates on Miami's short list, including Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh, Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen, and Connecticut head coach Randy Edsall.