After college, Jon Guden joined the Tennessee football program as a graduate assistant. Less than five years later, he was an offensive assistant in the NFL. The 1989 season was the last time that Gruden, a broadcaster since 2009, was involved in college football.
But ties to the area and time spent as a part of the program have made Gruden a mythical figure during Tennessee's coaching searches. Gruden's name gets tossed around often, and he usually reiterates that he's happy in his current gig. There's even a hashtag for the phenomenon: #Grumors.
Photos of Gruden in Knoxville circulated through networks of Tennessee fans this week. Fans saw him at restaurants, elsewhere throughout the town and then on Saturday at the Tennessee-South Carolina game. Frustrations with the current state of the Vols combined with Gruden's mere presence in town had those fans forcing #Grumors into existence.
Jon Gruden in the stands at Neyland Stadium, Tommy Tuberville calling it on TV. The 2018 Vols staff filling out:— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) October 14, 2017
This trip to Knoxville was likely not intended to bring #Grumors back. Monday Night Football is in Nashville for Titans-Colts, so this was a convenient time to visit his old stomping grounds.