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Making sense of Gruden, UM coaching search

This weekend was only the first couple days in what will probably be a stretch of a long days and nights for reporters covering the Miami Hurricanes. So, please bear with us.

With all of the reporting and rumors to chase, I didn't get a chance to come back and share some thoughts on what I've been hearing and thinking in the aftermath of the firing of Randy Shannon and the coaching search. Here are a few things on my mind:

Gruden > From the get-go, all of this Jon Gruden talk (heard it last week) seemed like a stretch to me. Why would a coach who has won a Super Bowl, has a Monday Night Football gig and potentially a lot of big-time offers to get back into coaching at the NFL level take a college job when he hasn't coached at that level since 1991? But the reporting -- and tweeting -- we've done since yesterday on what we were hearing is legit.

There were credible sources telling us (not only me) that Gruden and UM have had mutual interest for awhile and that money and a framework of a deal has already been discussed. A few other sources were saying it was done and a press conference was already in the works for Monday. Obviously, the latter didn't happen. No credible sources or officials at UM confirmed it. In fact, other sources -- as the night went on -- began spinning the story in the other direction. So, we didn't write a story saying that. But I strongly believe from what I heard, Gruden and Miami have been talking for awhile (before Shannon was fired) and numbers of a potential deal have been exchanged.

UM was -- and probably still is -- holding out hope they can land their dream candidate. If they do, it's because they go all-in and meet all of Gruden's demands (expensive staff, etc) as former Cane Dan Morgan told me Sunday morning. As for his "denial" on ESPN? There have been a lot of coaches who have left for jobs making similar denials and telling their current bosses what they want to hear as they negotiate. 

For Gruden, Miami is attractive on several fronts. He can pull a Pete Carroll and go back to coaching at a level where the head coaches are the real superstars. And, he would be given full control of football operations -- bring in people like his brother if he wants and friends. The question is will Miami really pony up all that cash for the big prize? If UM is smart, it will. The Canes have already done the research of the economic impact Gruden would have in terms of season ticket sales. Plus, there is the money donors and others have promised should UM snag a huge fish like Gruden. If UM wants to be relevant right away and "hire the best coach to take them to the pinnacle of college football" as Kirby Hocutt said, Gruden is that guy. 

The most likely scenario -- in the end -- is UM ends up landing a lesser high-profile coach than Gruden, who can pretty much choose wherever he wants to go. But I'd still hold out hope over the next 48 hours. If it doesn't happen by then, UM will probably move on. As I said earlier, I think the talks with Gruden have been going on for weeks. The money and particulars is what has been discussed over the last 24 hours (since Shannon was fired).

Dan Mullen > So who else is UM really looking at? Here is who I believe based on what credible sources have told me and other reporters here at The Herald who have covered UM in the past: Montreal Alouette's coach Marc Trestman (former UM offensive coordinator); Georgia's Mark Richt; former USF coach Jim Leavitt; Texas Tech's Tommy Tuberville (he was the hot name last year for UM); Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen; and UConn's Randy Edsall

Yes, Richt said Sunday he has no interest in leaving Georgia. But he just had a 6-6 season. He played at UM and may be able to be sold on the come home and be a hero scenario. And if UM is really going to pony up big cash -- we heard upwards of $3 million per for a coach it really wants -- then why wouldn't he at least listen?

To me, the most intriguing potential candidates are Mullen and Edsall.

Mullen is making $1.2 million at Mississippi State through 2013. He's 38 years old, hungry and has quickly turned Mississippi State into a respectable program in a tough SEC West.

Edsall, 52, has been at UConn since 1999 and has made a basketball school excited about its football program. He's only 69-69, but the Huskies have been really competitive without much of a recruiting base. They shared the Big East title in 2007. Edsall makes $1.3 million a year.  

> I know some people are wondering about TCU's Gary Patterson, Boise State's Chris Petersen as well as former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach.

I just think those are long shots at this point -- Petersen and Patterson especially since they're teams have obviously done so well and are ranked high in the BCS. But I wouldn't be surprised to see UM go after the them if given a warm reception. I've heard Leach's name from a few sources. But my gut tells me his ugly departure from Texas Tech has him a little tainted and UM probably wouldn't go after him unless they completely strike out with others.

> As for Shannon, I truly believe the decision to fire him was probably made after UM's losses to Florida State and Virginia. The Hurricanes became irrelevant after the Cavaliers loss and from all indications, that's when Hocutt began to start looking into replacements. 


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If Gruden doesn't want to be a Cane - get someone who does. Don't use us as a bargaining chip for the 49er or Cowboy job. Like my mom says, if the meatloaf aint ready don't take it out of the oven.

That list of coaches after Gruden is horrible. Flat terrible..........lets pray that Gruden is our guy or that none of those coaches (except maybe Mullen) get this job. I would cringe at bringing in any of those other guys who were mentioned in your blog. CRINGE!

Great job keeping us informed Manny. We will stay tuned for updates.


Why not Bud Foster?

Thank you for the real update Manny. Gruden is obviously a dream and a stretch, and the only thing that gives me any real hope is the reports that he initiated contacts and that they've been discussing things for weeks. That denial from him was pure coach-speak. Unless the guy says "I'm not going to Miami...", he hasn't said anything. He has to work tonight, so of course he'd say what he said. I think Hocutt is the man, and I wouldn't put anything past him.

But since Gruden is unlikely to come, I agree with you that Mullen and Edsall are very exciting prospects. They're not big names, but they inspire a lot of confidence. I love guys that win with very little, especially young guys in BCS conferences. They'd be great. I'm lukewarm on Richt, although I love his attitude and the fact that he had his team openly taunt the Gators after a TD on national television.

Go Canes!

"But the reporting -- and tweeting -- we've done since yesterday on what we were hearing is legit."

You are either a reporter or you are not.There should not be different journalistic standards for how you convey info. Newspaper reporters should convey two source facts, not rumors.

If this Gruden signing does not happen, you should be embarrassed.

If they scheduled a press conference for Monday afternoon and then cancelled it it may be because ESPN said he'd better be a the MNF game tonight.

I can't help myself guys...sorry...but we'd instantly have the highest profile program in the state with Gruden. If he's really interested, we should give him whatever he wants. If he's not really interested, then I still respect Hocutt for trying.

The list after him is NOT junk. Everyone there has accomplished something, including the ones from lesser programs. Who wins at UCONN for God's sake! So long as whoever we hire has had head coaching experience and a history of success, I don't care who he is.

Bud Foster? Haven't we learned that some people were meant to be assistants?

We need an alpha-dog, not someone who is hiding out.

I have heard that Gruden is a Cane. 3.4 million per year. Final details only thing that is left. House hunting, assistant coaches etc. Hope its true!

Except for Gruden, please no big name retreads, they generally don't work. How about some young head coach, with fire, energy and ambition to be on the big stage who have turned programs around but simply cannot win consistently where he is. Quick suggestions, in addition to Mullen :
Paul Rhoads, Iowa State
Brady Hoke, San Diego State
Gary Andersen, Utah State
Lot of positives there.

Jacorry Harris:

" I am terribly dissapointed, he was like a father figure to me".

Then transfer. Because youlet Shannon down. You and your clowning around, tweeting before the OSU game, moaping around on the sidelines rather than leading, and you and your crappy throws and bad defense reads. Did youever study film? I bet you dont, because how can study film (the way ken Dorsey used to) and still throw such horrible picks? You and many others on the team let Shannon down and you are the reason he was fired. Period.

Jim Leavitt had an ugly departure from USF. Why is he being considered? I don't see anyone really excited about him being hired. You know it's bad when even a recruit is saying no to Jim Leavitt.

I'm glad Edsall is mentioned here as a candidate. He does a great job of maximizing talent from the little he has at Connecticut. When you consider how Shannon and his staff managed to minimize Miami's athletic talent, I wonder what a guy like Edsall can do here.

He is not a sexy name, and I'm sure some on this board will think it's crazy. But Edsall's teams are disciplined, take very few penalties, don't miss tackles, and capitalize on turnovers.

And with the success Edsall has had with running backs (Donald Brown, Jordan Todman), imagine how scary Lamar Miller and company could be with him at the helm?

Bottom line: he is not a big enough name for the boosters to be satisfied with, but he's built a solid program out of absolutely nothing and deserves consideration.

...and thanks Manny for putting in the time for this. You and Susan have your hands full.

There's no question that Gruden would be pure gold...but isn't it an exciting revelation that this administration and AD really care about ponying up the jack for a good coach? 48 hours ago, I never would have believed it.

Wouldn't it be funny to beat ufelons with thier old cord.... however Gruden may be my x-mas gift. UM better spend the money or we will lose it in the long run.

Most of the other candidates a disappointment,after hearing Kirby's speech.Miami really needs to make a splash hiring. SL stadium has been close to empty on more than 1 occasion.

Btw Manny ,keep up the good work. I appreciate it !

You have a point orange and green, I would think that any candidate who looks at our running backs has to be licking their chops. That backfield is full of future NFL players.

On another note, I never would have thought I'd see the day when Lou Holtz would defend the U and Mark May, you're a jackass!

You are either a reporter or you are not. There should not be different journalistic standards for how you convey info. Newspaper reporters should convey two source facts, not rumors. If this Gruden signing does not happen, you should be embarrassed. Posted by: Lloyd Heilbrunn | November 29, 2010 at 10:29 AM

A: Agree Lloyd. I am a reporter who works very hard to make sure my sources are credible. I heard for days Shannon would be fired and never reported it because I couldn't get a strong enough source at UM to confirm it.

And in terms of Gruden, I never wrote it was confirmed as a done deal by UM officials. I tweeted: "Hearing Jon Gruden has agreed to $3.4 mil deal to become #UM's next coach. Trying hard to confirm it officially."

If folks want to fly off the handle with that, I don't know what to say. There were others who said it was totally done. In retrospect, I probably should have been even more cautious, used stronger words to temper what I tweeted. But I heard what I heard from multiple sources I trusted on that. And it still isn't over.

If Gruden doesn't become coach that doesn't mean I was necessarily wrong. He may have agreed to something, then backed off. We'll have to find out as this thing moves forward.

Except for Gruden, please no big name retreads, they generally don't work. How about some young head coach, with fire, energy and ambition to be on the big stage who have turned programs around but simply cannot win consistently where he is. Quick suggestions, in addition to Mullen :
Paul Rhoads, Iowa State
Brady Hoke, San Diego State
Gary Andersen, Utah State
Lot of positives there.
Posted by: Big Tom in Atlanta | November 29, 2010 at 10:40 AM

A: I'm sure Kirby Hocutt is familiar with those guys and could probably go after them too down the road. But I haven't heard any of those names yet.

Gruden would be all hollywood and no results--he's another Lane Kiffin--big talker, only success came with other people's players. It'll be great for season tix and TV for a while, but also for recruiting the next Lance Leggett, Willie Williams, and Jarrett Payton--this would be a sugar high, not what we are looking for. Shannon needed to go, but UM had the perfect formula: hungry, relatively unknown coach from outside the program. Why are we deviating?

Manny, you don't have to respond to these idiots who question you and know nothing...fans such as my appreciate what you do!

p.s. I'm following you on twitter!


They have to land Gruden. Recruiting will shoot up until he is not coach here anymore. We got to give him what he want like the O'Jays sung.

Let me tell you about this Gruden guy. He is an EXCELLENT coach who understands the football and is possibly one of the BEST in the game.

I think Gruden is a stretch. Just because he has the "Chuckie Look" doesn't make him an instant winner. Let's face it he was a .500 HC in the NFL and was getting a new quarterback every 2 weeks. He won't have that luxury in the college ranks. He'll bolt the U within 2 years after he gets an NFL offer. We need a guy who is hungry and loves the college game and that guy is Dan Mullen.

What about the coach at Utah? Whittingham?

Lets get a coach who can bring back the swagger... we want to see dancing on the field, celebrating in the END ZONE... why not? we are who we are and that is never going to change... we are the reason why the NCAA band celebrations, because they look to good for tv and pissed the other team when they were loosing... however fans love it.....swagg ON...

Looks who's posting. That blog Pig, Sean Wilson.

You still suck, Pig. And I will find you.

Sean Wilson is DMW.

With SHANNON out of the way... i am ready to spend all my money on the canes again... i will renew my season tcikes and travel as much as i can to see the canes beat the F..* out of everyone...So people lets support the U.. and lets fill the stadium like it should be... LETS MAKE SOME NOISE.....

BOISE STATE COACH could be a good one.. he would be cheap... and he will bring a lot of heat to the U.... 12-0... im saving all my money and is all going to the canes next season....i can't wait..... F.@ randy and his circus clowns like donna said.. there are better days ahead for the U....WINNING IS IMPORTANT!!!!!

How about the Duke coach? He might want to be at a school where he can actually win? Not sure he'd be THAT good, but all this talk about Gruden? Come on, no way this guy comes to Miami except to coach the Fins.

Lets pack the stadium... and make noise!!!!! Ohio state u will get what is coming for U..lets bring the swagg back ON...people save your money and begin supporting the team with your finances...as long as they get us what we want... then we will show up to the games...

When I douche I like it to be jsmooth!

Gruden 1st choice, Dan Mullen only other choice.

CONGRATULATIONS to the people who helped finance the plane that read..FIRE RANDY SHANNON.. i am so proud to live in a city were people dont take no sh... enough was is enough and like i said it before for all of u who are SHANNON lovers.. we will run him out of town... and we did...it was great to see it flying over the stadium before the game... keep up the good work...now lets role to NATIONAL TITLE


I'll take BUTCH DAVIS any day of the week. He is [T]he best coach in NCAA.

Sean Wilson a/k/a jsmooth.

Loser. Sad loser. WE will pound you, Pig.

Who ever it is better come ready to WIN NT because if u come here to be a looser u will get another plane over the stadium with ur name on it saying to FIRE UR A*... bring the SWAGG or pack ur bags....lets get ready to rumble cane nation rise up and lets pack the stadium again!!!!

You are either a reporter or you are not. There should not be different journalistic standards for how you convey info. Newspaper reporters should convey two source facts, not rumors. If this Gruden signing does not happen, you should be embarrassed. Posted by: Lloyd Heilbrunn | November 29, 2010 at 10:29 AM

Manny wouldn't be the only one Lloyd. AllCanes, Sun-Sentinel, CaneSpace, just about every Cane website was reporting this was done last night. It was either a lot of smoke or Gruden got cold feet.

Manny, you had us on pins and needles last night. Obviously you wouldn't have posted this if you didn't have some sort of credible source. If Gruden isn't the guy (man I hope he is) then everyone needs to calm down and wait this thing out. No one is going to sound as sexy as Gruden in my opinion, everyone will have to come down from dreamland. I am still trying to come back to realitiy. I couldn't even sleep last night checking every web-site I know for any news on Gruden being hired.

I will have to collect myself and re-think everything if he is not the guy.

You know what else is J smooth besides my regular douche? The way my gators played in Tally on Sat.

Go Gators!
Go Justin Beiber!

is fuuny how u keep calling me a looser when SHANNON is the one that lost us everything... OHHH and by the way he lost his job 2... ha ha so who is the looser now? u must not be a cane fan ur probably a lOOSER urself living at your moms house, not working like a looser...

Manny appreciate the "great job" you are doing covering a program that is not friendly to the press and makes it very difficult to get the facts and the true story out there. I have heard stories about what things were like with RS and the media and it's not the story of what you hear about RS. Keep up the good work and appreciate any updates that you tweet and send out. Your take on Gruden is correct sir. Thanks again for a job well done.

hey manny good morning to you my hard working friend, i was a huge shannon supporter, that being said how soon do you think we will get answer in the new coach i too think its gruden

Get over it.. SHANNON era is over.. now we true fans can enjoy CANE FOOTBALL with out the leadership of a DUMB.. A...* who played favorites and banked all his money on JNOODLE... with this new coach coming in.. who ever it is... he will see that JNOODLE sucks and he will become the back up trust me...

LETS SUPPORT our troops and show up to the games... like the old school lets get loud and intimidate the opposite team when they show up to SUN LIFE stadium... GO CANES!!!!!!

The spelling hasn't been very J smooth lately.

Go Gators!
Go Justin Beiber!
Go Dirty Sanchez! (That one was for my mom)

who are you to question my true loyalty to the canes ???

Manny I don't know how you stand the ridiculous fans on this blog sometimes. Why even give an explanation. When you wrote about Gruden I didn't care if it could happen or not it gave me a warm and snuggly feeling about the U that I haven't had since the early 2000's.

You guys are missing the point on Mullen. I said from the beginning of this year watching Oregon, Miami would dominate with a system like that, I'm mean dominate. Oregon's QB throws like me left handed but in that up tempo system with little out routes it works. If Chip Kelly had our talent they would be averaging 70 a game. Mullen runs a spread, and that is what we need to forge into the new realm of college football. Screw the prostyle and running the same thing over and over. Everyone in the world knows what kind of defense and offense we run. Nothing fancy, no trickery, no exotic looks on d, just base.

We have to change and let the horses run.

And at the end of the day the article last week about Sam Shields not knowing a thing about defense sums this coaching staff up. If the players aren't being developed then it doesn't matter, the U is irrelevant.

I sit and watch college football a lot and wonder where these kids on Oregon, Boise State etc... come from. My guys are bigger faster and stronger than them. We look like beasts out there why aren't we having the same success? Where is the fight to rip the ball out of the air, where is the fight to demolish the opponent in front of you on the line.

Where is it? It is the head coach spitting into your face while he loses a lung on your feet. Telling you to man up and make the most of your opportunity.

Video after video this season the kids were saying, "it's my fault, all my fault". Your right dude it is your fault so change the next week and bust someones ass.

Video after video this season RS said, "it's just football, it's just a process". So the next week fix the freaking process and bust someones ass.

We can learn from College Football in life as well. A lot of you come on here and spew disgusting things. While in your own life your not taking care of business, at home, at work etc... Stand up take care of your responsibilities so you don't have to say "it's just a process, I'm getting better". Get better and bust someones ass!

The right people will respect you even if you fail one week if your busting your ass to do the right things.

With all that said RS did provide the father figure many of the kids needed which is awesome to me. But just like in the workplace or in the military. The leader can't be your friend and bust your ass. The head coach is the general. Sure he'll be there if you need him but there are assistant coaches leaders on the team for that. He is there for the overall mission. And if you screw up that overall mission you are benched, fired, killed, or ever worse someone else gets benched, fired, or killed.



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