The Jon Gruden rumors have been going strong the last few weeks and especially so this week after Butch Jones was fired from his job at Tennessee. However, Football Scoop is reporting that the former Super Bowl-winning coach is not interested in going to the college ranks.
Jon Gruden has no interest in being the next head coach at Tennessee. This is not happening. No one is being contacted about potentially joining his staff. Move on Vol fans…
NFL insider Benjamin Allbright apparently spoke to Gruden as well who confirmed that he is not interested the Tennessee job.
However, they are also reporting that a championship-caliber coach could be willing to listen to overtures from Tennessee.
More than one coach has mentioned to us that he has heard “Jimbo Fisher is willing to listen.” – This one makes no sense to us here at FootballScoop, but it is a datapoint in so far as how odd it is that it is even being whispered. Why Jimbo would want to leave the FSU lifestyle to recruit on a plane more often than not is a head scratcher, but we’re sharing what we’re hearing.
He would be a better option than a lot of other coaches because he does have championship experience having won a title in 2013 with quarterback Jameis Winston leading the team. He has been known as an offensive-minded guy so that would make him a good option for the Vols and if he can develop any of the quarterbacks on the roster he would be considered a hero. They have four and five-star talent on the team, but they haven’t really been playing up to those expectations, which is something Fisher can definitely get done without cheesy catchphrases and bad press conferences.
However, what it would take to get Fisher to Tennessee may not be feasible. Not only does Fisher have zero ties to the school, but he is owed a humongous sum of money if he were to be bought out. He signed a deal in December that would take his buyout worth near $40 million should he be fired by the school. However, if he were to go elsewhere on his own that number may not matter and he would just have to pay the remaining salaries of his assistants.
No matter how desperate Tennessee may be to sign a good coach, there is no way that number is acceptable to pay for a new coach. Especially considering that the school will still have to pay out Butch Jones just north of $8 million over the next several years.
Other notable candidates include Dan Mullen, David Cutcliffe and P.J. Fleck with other names likely to surface in the coming weeks once seasons start to end.