Tag:Coaching Searches
Posted on: December 1, 2010 6:51 pm

Gruden doesn't seem interested in Miami

Posted by Tom Fornelli

What a whirlwind few days it's been down in South Beach.  We've gone from Jon Gruden is the next head coach at Miami to Jon Gruden isn't interested in Miami to Jon Gruden is interested in Miami after all and then to the final details are being hammered out.  You know, unless there's a "glitch" in the proceedings.

Well, our next turn on the Gruden rollercoaster provides such a glitch.  According to the Miami Herald, Gruden did in fact meet with Miami athletic director Kirby Hocutt on Wednesday morning, but it doesn't look like he's going to be accepting any offer anytime soon.

"Gruden was cordial," a member of the Miami Board of Trustees told the paper. "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 his options open, including the NFL.

"He didn't say yes. He didn't say no. But in effect, it's probably a no because it will take months before the NFL jobs come open and UM can't wait that long.''

In other words, Mr. Gruden appreciates your interest, and he's flattered, but he's just not interested in Miami.  But don't worry, it's not you, Miami, it's him.  You see, this guy considers himself more of an NFL guy.  Sure, he showed up to see if you were willing to pony up so much money that he'd be stupid not to accept, but you didn't, and now he'll move on to his next NFL payday.*

Don't get your feelings hurt.  It's just business.

*Cue the 'Canes faithful who haven't quite accepted this yet to start with the "It's just a negotiating ploy!"
Posted on: November 30, 2010 9:08 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2010 9:09 pm

Report: Gruden and Miami close to deal

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It seems that the dance between Jon Gruden and Miami may not be done after all.  Two days after Gruden released a statement saying that he was happy with his current job at ESPN, a report on Canesport.com says that Gruden and Miami are very close to a deal.  In fact, the report says that the two sides are basically just hammering out the final details.
Sources have told CaneSport that final details are being hammered out and, barring a last minute glitch, Jon Gruden will be the next Miami Hurricanes football coach.

The report also says that if Gruden is hired, his brother Jay Gruden will be brought on as his offensive coordinator, and that the deal could be announced as early as Wednesday.

Still, the phrase from the report that stands out to me is "barring a last-minute glitch."  That leaves an awful lot of leeway should this not come to fruition.  Especially since this is the same site that pronounced Dan Mullen "Option 1A" earlier on Tuesday.

If I were a Miami fan, i wouldn't go getting my hopes up or start trying to sell Chuckie dolls in Miami jerseys just yet.
Posted on: November 30, 2010 1:34 pm

Report: Mullen is Option 1A for Miami

Posted by Tom Fornelli

So yesterday I told you about Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen saying that he hasn't been contacted by any schools about any head coaching jobs. He also went on to say that he is happy at Mississippi State.  Well, I also said that just because Mullen hasn't been contacted yet, that doesn't mean he won't be contacted in the near future, and that he'd be dumb not to consider any offers.

Well, bad news, Mississippi State fans.  Those sleepless nights are upon you, as according to a report on CaneSport.com, Mullen is option 1A in the Miami coaching search.

Sources have told CaneSport that they think that is Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt's ultimate vision if he can land Mullen or Gruden when they have conversations Tuesday and/or Wednesday and one of those two guys is hired as Miami's head coach.

Gruden has publicly denied interest in the job and there are questions whether Miami will have the budget to pacify a coach of Gruden's stature. At the same time, others are saying that budget issues have already been worked out and that Gruden is on the brink of being introduced as the new leader of Miami football. The Gruden speculation has created one of the craziest 48 hours in UM coaching search history. 

So right now, we are going to call Mullen and Gruden 1A and 1B and predict one of the two will land the job.

Seriously, Miami!  Let the dream of Gruden go!  Why would a coach that could get something like $5 million annually in a return to the NFL as a head coach accept $3 million to coach at Miami?  Not only would he make more money in the NFL, but he wouldn't have to recruit and he wouldn't have to deal with 18-year old kids.

Focus on Mullen.  He's just as good of an option as Gruden, if not better.  After all, we already know that Dan Mullen can do a good job on the college level, look at what he's done in the toughest conference in the country, in the toughest division.  Gruden has never been the head coach of a major college football program.
Posted on: November 29, 2010 5:13 pm

Dan Mullen hasn't been approached by anyone

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Mississippi State fans find themselves in a bit of a new position compared to what they're used to come this time of the year.  There's the one aspect of life that has the Bulldogs ranked in the top 25, and seemingly on the rise with one of the best young coaches in the country in Dan Mullen. The downside of all that, though, is that they have one of the best young coaches in the country, and early indications are that there will be plenty of schools in the market for a new head coach this season.

Which means that Mullen's name is going to be coming up in a lot of rumors over the next couple of months, and Mississippi State fans will have a lot of trouble sleeping while they wonder whether or not the coach who seems to have the program finally heading in the right direction is about to jump ship. Though, if it makes those fans feel any better, Mullen did go on the radio on Monday and say that he hasn't been contacted by any school about any job openings.

“Here’s what happens," said Mullen. "One, it’s a good thing for myself and it’s a good thing for Mississippi State because it means we’re winning. Speculation only comes when you win. But, for us right now, I think a lot of that stuff gets overblown. I’ve been an assistant coach for a long time, and I don’t hear the speculation about what’s going on and what he’s going to do and all these different jobs that are supposedly being thrown your way. I only ever really got one phone call. I have not been approached by anybody at this point and my wife and I, we’re very very happy here at Mississippi State.”

Of course, just because nobody has called Mullen yet, that doesn't mean the phone won't be ringing eventually.  And if the right program calls, Mullen would have to be stupid not to consider it.  Yes, he has done a nice job at Mississippi State, but the task of bringing that program to a level in which it can compete with Alabama and LSU on an annual basis in the SEC West is not going to be easy.

So the question for Mullen will be -- throwing money aside -- would he be happy with 8-4 and 9-3 seasons in the SEC, or would he want to go somewhere else with a chance to get to a BCS game or a national championship?
Posted on: November 28, 2010 11:44 pm

So about that Gruden to Miami rumor...

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Squash it.  Squash it like a palmetto bug beneath your foot.  

The rumor of the day had been that Jon Gruden, a former NFL head coach that won a Super Bowl with the Buccaneers and currently works for ESPN, was going to be taking over for Randy Shannon at Miami.  It was all the rage on Twitter, and even the Sun-Sentinel reported that Gruden had contacted the school about the job opening.

Well, that may all be true, but as of Sunday night, Gruden finally spoke publicly.  He's not going to be taking the job at Miami.

"I am committed to MNF & to ESPN," said Gruden in a statement released on Sunday night. "I enjoy working with Mike [Tirico], [Ron Jaworski] and our entire crew and am just trying to get better at this job."

Doesn't sound like the words of a man who is on the verge of signing a contract with Miami in the near future, does it?  Of course, there will be those Miami fans who were so excited about the idea that will tell themselves that Gruden never said he ISN'T going to Miami in his statement, and that this is just a ploy to get more money and blah blah blah.

Listen, he's not coming. I'm sorry, I know you got excited by the idea, but it's just not happening. Things are going to be okay, I promise.  Miami is still a nice destination for a head coach, you'll be able to find somebody.  Besides, did you really want Gruden?  I mean, did you want to subject yourself to having to hear about THIS GUY and THIS GUY and how they're a FOOTBALL PLAYER every day for the next few years?

No.  Of course you didn't.
Posted on: November 28, 2010 6:39 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2010 7:07 pm

Rumors swirl around Jon Gruden and Miami

Posted by Tom Fornelli

From the sound of things, the Miami Hurricanes may not be without a head coach for very long.  After announcing that Randy Shannon had been fired following Saturday's loss to South Florida, there are rumors out of Miami that former NFL coach and current ESPN analyst Jon Gruden is going to take over at Miami.

Now, it's important to point out here that neither Gruden nor Miami have said anything about this rumor.  It all started out as a solitary tweet on Sunday afternoon that quickly became an internet and Twitter wildfire.  Still, according to a report in the Sun-Sentinel, Gruden has reached out to Miami to talk about the job.

According to a UM source, former NFL coach Jon Gruden initiated contact with the university to express his desire for the job and that the interest in mutual. Hocutt said there's no timeline on the hire and that money will not be an issue in the selection.

Now, just because both sides are reportedly interested, that doesn't mean Gruden is going to be the next head coach at Miami.  Often times there's interest on behalf of both parties, but then once contract details begin getting hammered out, that interest can sometimes wane.

Still, the fact that this was reported in the Sun-Sentinel lends a lot more credibility to the rumor than a single tweet ever could.  There definitely appears to be some smoke here.

Whatever ends up happening, it's pretty obvious that 'Canes fans have already begun fantasizing about the possibilities.

Posted on: November 28, 2010 12:10 am
Edited on: November 28, 2010 12:11 am

So who replaces Randy Shannon?

Posted by Tom Fornelli

So now that it's official and we know for a fact that Randy Shannon has been fired by Miami, I suppose it's about time we got to speculating about who is going to replace him in Coral Gables.  Though the program hasn't been what it used to be, Miami is still the type of job that plenty of coaches wouldn't mind trying on for size.

After all, Florida is still a hotbed of football talent, and it's not like the ACC isn't there for the taking.  So who are some of the names likely to come up in the coming weeks or months?  Miami has said it will begin a national search, so just about anybody is in play.

Let's look at some of the likely suspects.

Mark Richt -- It sounded like Mark Richt would be in danger of losing his job earlier this season, but things have since calmed down at Georgia.  Still, that doesn't mean he wouldn't consider leaving the grind of the SEC for the sunny beaches of Miami.  After all, he liked the school so much he did decide to go to college there.

Dan Mullen -- Another SEC coach that the 'Canes may want to consider poaching.  Unlike Richt, he's at an SEC school that is considered more of a stepping stone than a destination.  Plus, if Mullen can do the job he's done in Starkville with a perennial bottom-feeder in the SEC, imagine what he could do at Miami.

Mike Leach -- As far as I'm concerned, there won't be a coaching vacancy anywhere that I don't think Mike Leach should be considered for.  College football needs it's Pirate King, and with Miami so close to the beach, Leach will finally have a place to keep his pirate ship.

Gus Malzahn -- There won't be many schools looking for a head coach who won't give Malzahn consideration.  He's been successful everywhere he's been, especially with what he has done with Cam Newton and Auburn this year.  He's an offensive innovator that will get a shot somewhere, so why not Miami?

Mario Cristobal -- A bit of a darkhorse candidate here.  Cristobal is currently the head coach at FIU, who just won the Sun Belt Conference on Saturday.  He also happens to be a former offensive lineman for the Hurricanes.

Tommy Tuberville -- I'm sure Miami could get him if it asked, but really, why would it?

Howard Schnellenberger -- Come on, Donna Shalala.  You know you want to.

Ron Prince -- A big name coach would be nice, but a power towel would be better.

These are just some of the names that are likely to come up, obviously, there will probably be many more floated around before Miami finally does settle on it's new head coach.  That's what happens anytime a big-time program begins a coaching search.
Posted on: November 27, 2010 2:09 pm

Vandy interested in Gus Malzahn

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The news just broke this morning that Vanderbilt head coach Robbie Caldwell had resigned, and that today's game against Wake Forest would be his last. This happened barely two hours ago, but the rumors about who Vanderbilt will be pursuing to replace Caldwell have already begun.  It seems that Vandy isn't looking outside the SEC for its top choice.

Not surprisingly, that choice seems to be Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn.

Now, as Schad mentions in his tweet, Gus Malzahn will be one of the most sought after coaches during the offseason.  Everyone has seen what he's done on the offensive side of the ball during his coaching career, particularly this season with Cam Newton and Auburn.  So it isn't surprising at all that Vanderbilt would be interested.

What would be surprise would be to see Malzahn take the job at Vanderbilt.  Listen, I don't mean this as an insult to Vanderbilt, but let's be real here. Gus Malzahn can find a lot better head coaching job than Vanderbilt. He'll have his choice of any position that becomes available, be it one we already know of, or one that will come open after the season.

Vanderbilt is not the kind of school that Malzahn could walk into and experience success quickly, as the Commodores have a long mountain to climb if they want to contend in the SEC.  Sure, Malzahn would be a fantastic start to getting that accomplished, but I just can't see it happening.
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