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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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Manny please continue to provide information as to how the Coaching Search is going. We trust your judgment and at some point you have to balance getting the news out vs. having it being completely "corroborated"". We find new on the search very relevant at a time when not much of the rest of the season is. Irrespective if Gruden is hired or not the fact that “talks” between the two parties have taken place is “news”. For those seeking certainty stick to the UM press office statements, they won't take any risks.

I,live in Tampa and have been through the Gruden years with the Bucs. A couple of things, Gruden can't even spell DEFENSE, Grudens Play Book is so complicated that even the Pros have trouble adjusting, Gruden won with Dungy's team, look what Morris is doing with his team. Forget Gruden!!!



I would take offense to being called a "looser" if I knew what that meant. Is that word found in Webster's Dictionary?

According to AllCanes Gruden is still a possibility.

allCanes.com ‎... according to the original friend-of-the-program who told us about "mutual interest" between Miami and Jon Gruden three weeks back, he states that this is still very much "on" and that an announcement would come on Tuesday. Makes sense with the MNF obligation and Gruden in PHX tonight. Of course our friend, like us,... also says he'll believe it when he sees it. Stay tuned. Go Canes

well said Jared... is time to move on... and lets bust someones A..* play aggresive and quit acting like a baby... go out there and fight like men... NO more excuses.. NO MORE i dont know what happen.. play with heart... TURN THE SWAGG ON AND DANCE ON THE FIELD after you know the F* out of someone...

Remember the name "Shula" well theres one still available - Mike Shula he has HC experience at Alabama. He took a school that was on probation and WON. He lost his job because they lost to the school's instate rival. But they beat the GAYTORS! He has a proven track record. He could do the job. He has south florida ties, good recruiter, and knows how to coach! Give him an interview!

JP, so true. COULD THIS BE ZOOK 2?? Zook loaded up UF with talent and couldnt win, lost 4-6 games if U all recall?? A good coach came in and they won the title in his 2nd yr. The talent is there People. TALENT IS THERE

Guys, auburn, oregon, tcu, boise, they dont have top 10 recruiting classes, yet deliver. We have enough top talent on the team that we should lose no more than 2 games. We are unprepared, no one gets better, and it shows. We have a stable of NFL quality RBs, we have top WR talent, 1st round talent, we have a good Oline, at least the next 3 yrs with linder, seantrel, johnson etc, we have depth at dline, some speed at LB but no traditional quality MLB, and real talent at DB. AND WE HAVE DEPTH. THe new coach that comes in will be taking over a loaded team,

Jimmie Johnson is done with Survivor now right?

Gruden’s look-at-me game continues

Posted by Mike Florio on November 29, 2010, 11:28 AM EST
It’s a game that has been played for nearly a decade, maybe longer. Coach Jon Gruden and his long-time agent, Bob LaMonte, believe that Gruden’s overall interests are served if there’s a perception that he’s in high demand.

And since he apparently has no real intention of ever coaching at the college level, Gruden is willing to use the occasional NCAA program as a pawn in his greater game of look-at-me. (He’d never do that with an NFL team, since he wants to maintain bridges to as many NFL franchises as possible, as evidenced by the weekly butt-smooching in which he engages from the broadcast booth.)

It started while he was still coaching the Raiders, with talk that Gruden was on Notre Dame’s radar. Last year, the ridiculous notion that he could coach at Louisville emerged.

Now, Gruden has been linked to the “U”. And he has denied it without denying it, affirming his commitment to ESPN without saying that he didn’t (as reported elsewhere) initiate contact with Miami.

Gruden wants to coach again. Gruden needs to coach again. And with the NFL hiring cycle currently tilting toward promoting from within due to the ongoing labor drama, Gruden needs to find a way to force his name to the front of the brains of the folks who’ll be hiring NFL head coaches in Janauary.

It’s a simple yet brilliant approach, with no real downside. Gruden wants to be talked about as a potential head coach, and it’s working.


Oh nooo we suck again

IF we did land gruden, what top KId and parent wouldnt want to send their kid to him, Passion, knows NFL caliber players and what it takes, can get their kids ready for next level. Thats what we need. I would beg him 2 b the coach. COME ON KIRBY. OR PLEASE TALK JIMMY OUT OF RETIREMENT JON GRUDEN, JIMMY JOHNSON, PATTERSON FROM TCU, PETERSON FROM BOISE, MULLEN, MIKE LEACH. Leach's offense is UNBELIEVABLE......WITH OUR ATHLETES LEACH WOULD KICK SOME ARSE HERE IN MIAMI--------------GRUDEN GRUDEN GRUDEN

I wonder why Harbaugh out of Stanford isn't a name being thrown around. Look at the success he's had at Stanford - STANFORD for crying out loud.


I will agree some spread plays would be nice but the pro style offense is what the NFL wants not pop gun Masoli's and Vince Young. The real recruits will come back if they make a good hire. The difference between Boise and us is they play like they got a BIG chip on they shoulder and we play like we deserve wins cause of the symbol. A real motivator and innovator is what we need. I hate to use SABAN but last years's Bama squad used 2 bruising backs and a ferocious defense. Even though they lost this year they brought in the pistol which is good innovation. Exactly what is needed at UM. Strong foundation is their. The players needed a real leader this year and Jacory didn't take command. We had no vocal motivators on the team and when you couple that with the Sam Shields not being able to watch film comment the next guy better have it together.

Loser is with 1 "O" buddy

What about Grudens brother?


Alabama won it last year with a pro style offense. What you need is just talented players (especially up front) and a coach that gets the most out of them and puts them in the right spot. We've won 5 times without any spread/west coast/ whatever else. You run the spread against the 2001 team and the Dline would eat your Oline and QB for lunch and Ed Reed would kill you in the back. At the end of the day, talent and good coaching is what matters. Personally, I like the pro-set. We have the RBs, OL, and usually the WRs to kick butt with it.


(in this order)

butch davis
jon gruden
jim harbaugh
mark richt
bobby petrino
pete carroll
jimmy johnson
tommy tuberville
greg shiano


some are more unlikely than others but whatever. those are the names i would contact.

Would love to see Harbaugh be considered. I think the most important thing we do is make sure we keep the pro-style offense. Worst thing we could do it change to a spread or some other gimmick offense. We need to continue making sure recruits know that the best way to the pros is through The U. Guys from gimmick offenses don't make it to the pros.

Is it just me or is anyone else wondering why "no one" is talking about Randy Shannon's failure, unwillingness, and disrepect, in not personally addressing the media, the fans, and most importantly, his team? Forget wins and losses, this alone says volumes about the man. This should eliminate any question on whether Shannon had the "leadership qualities" required to be a successful head coach.

I dont know who will coach is. But i do know the clowns saying gruden cant coach are not football fans. He won with dungy's players is crap because the team they beat, the raiders, was formed by him. Stop talking if you dont know what you are talking about.

First of all, Gruden would be a bad hire! Not because of his gameday demeanor, or his X's and O's but because he doesnt really know the college game. It's not just standing on the sidelines calling plays. Which was the sole thing Randy and his staff failed to do consistently. Are ANY of U aware that whoever this new guy is, he is going to have to do everything Randy did PLUS win the ACC title in his first year? If he doesnt, it would mean your firing of Randy was premature. As a Randy supporter, I wish him best. But time moves on.

As for the other candidate names floated around, Leavitt is not a good hire because of his baggage in the collge game. Recruits like Chickillo a 3rd generation cane has already stated that he wouldnt want that type of coach, is someone we need to keep. As for Schiano, PLEEEAAASE, he can't even win at Rutgers!!!

Bottom line is that the coach needs HC experience, and not learn on the job, BUUUT needs all of Randy's poisitive qualities plus a change in the ones that were lacking...(media savvy, HC exp, etc)

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/11/29/1947816/source-gruden-shows-interest-in.html#disqus_thread#ixzz16hEZZnM9


Let's go Shalala. Tell Randy you punked him!

Gruden said no Richt said no. Who wants to coach at a programs that put 27,000 in the seats on saturdays? Can you say mid major?

"Should of, could of"--UM should of pulled the tigger on Randy after the UVA-game, he acted like a fool in front of the camera's every week. He avoided answering questions from the media for the past 4-years.

UM- pull out your wallet and get the FANS A REAL COACH!!!!!!!!!

those clowns are Sean Wilson and his aliases. What a sorry Pig of a human.

Funny, not too much static about Gatard trash and their 7-5 record with all the supposed top recruits. The future looks mighty dim in the land of trailers and trash.

He doesn't know the college game??? Really thats why Gruden would be a bad hire?? This man won a Super Bowl!!! and I too don't want to hear the Dungy player crap. He took Oakland from 8-8 to 4 straight playoff apperances along with the AFC Championship game his final year in Oakland and they lost to the eventual Super Bowl Champs in Baltimore.
The guy is a winner and would totally change the landscape of college football not only in Florida, but the nation. Gruden for Tha U!!!

The idea of a fire brand/teaching coach like Gruden on the sideline is exciting but I'm not sold on the factt that he can be a great college coach. Can he recruit? Can he deal with boosters? Will he stick around. I wouldn't be mad but I'm not 100% sold on Gruden, kinda like 85% sold. Anyways what we really need is a college head coach that's a proven winner, so in this order I think we should go after: the Boise guy, the TCU guy, and the UConn guy...and the UConn guy already recruits S. Fla...just my thought....BUT PLEASE GOD KEEP AWAY ALL SPREAD OPTION COACHES....PLEASE!

This is B.S. !! Jimmey Johnson coming from
Okla. State, Dennis Erickson coming from
Wash. State weren't "HIGH Profile" coaches at the time. Urban Meyers came from Bowling Green to Utah,on to Fla. Jim Tressel coming from Youngstown State to Ohio State weren't High
profile coaches at that time.

High pay, high profile coaches don't always
equate to success. There many hungry,great Div. 2 coaches out there like Temple's Al Golden.

Save the money,use it to improve facilities and hire a good Div. 2 "hungry" coach !!

Run the spread offense ????

Watch the Jan 1993
"Sugar Bowl" Nat'l Championship game.Miami
lost the 1992 Nat'l Championship because Dennis
Erickson ran the "Spread with 4 and 5 wide receivers and a great Alabama defense with 8 man fronts
etc. "Destroyed" Heisman Gino Torretta,Lamar
Thomas etc.!!!

Balanced running (Howard S./Jimmey J./Butch style) is the "only" way to win championships !!

How about Stoops at Arizona?

Any thoughts?

If Hocutt hires Leach,leavitt or Tuberville I am probably going to spend a lil money of my own for a plane and a big freaking sign cause these three names are killer for our program Leach and Leavitt will beat the crap out of our players and Tuberville will have us on probation again so please Hocutt when Gruden says "no" Mullen is our guy or Edsall or maybe peterson.

I dont like the Leavitt idea either. I had great pain in my "upper extremity" when I saw him being considered.

I say go with Mullen...he should be able to coach the talent that Miami has to get us to a championhsip like the old days. Gruden is not what Miami needs...let MNF keep him

Any news on Bill Belichick, Bill Cowher, or Tony Dungy? I also read that Mike Ditka was interested - that was from twitta


Mullen - NO!!!! He is a former Gator and this reminds me of a Manchurian Candidate scenario. He will do everything possible to ensure Urban gets our top recruits then quit.

I don't think it will be Gruden though that is my christmas wish Mullen seems like he would do a good job especially knowing the urban system and with our players it would work this bozo at UCONN can stay there as well as the guy at temple but I really believe Holcutt is going to go nepotistic and hire one of his buds and continue to screw up the program


Any chance you'll speak with Warren Sapp about his thoughts on the Canes-Gruden combination?

I just heard that gruden is in liberty city miami with his family. can anyone else confirm this?

Why NOT CHARLIE STRONG!!! Look at Florida sense he has left and look at Louisville NOW..He is Florida Recruiting!!!

First off, no Edsall. Nothing against the man, don't know much about him or his resume, but a guy that age who is still coaching at a program like UConn, that is not what we need.

Second, Gruden is just using us to get his name in the news, nothing more. If he does come and it means that we really have given him full control over the football program, then great. I'd rather have his hands on the wheel of this program than Donna Shalalalala's. But honestly, I really don't think he is the right guy for this program, primarily because I just don't think he's a very good coach and I really don't like what I see from the guy as a person. I know he's had some success and has a SB ring, but that's like giving Coker credit for a National Championship trophy.

Personally, I want to see Miami hand Patterson and Peterson each a blank check and tell them, whichever one of you endorses this sucker first is our next head coach. Those guys absolutely MUST be at the top of our list, well before Gruden. And they absolutely MUST be offered not only big salaries with a minimum 5 year term, but autonomy over football operations and hiring/salaries for assistant coaches, PLUS the assurance that the University of Miami's football facilities will be brought UP to the standards of a TCU or Boise State. (That's right, I said it, tell me I'm wrong).

IF we simply can't lure one of those guys, which I really think we should be able to given the conditions I mentioned (which should be realistic unless Hocutt and Shalala are lying about their commitment to being Nationally Relevent), THEN, I'd think Dan Mullen/Tommy Tuberville/Jon Gruden, in no particular order would each be great candidates.

But, this candidate pool simply can't get too deep. If we're on our 5th candidate a month from now still waiting to find out who the next coach will be, then we'll know a couple things:
Either 1-Shalala and Hocutt are full of BS and do not have the commitment to winning they say they do and this program will essentially cease being relevant for the forseeable future.
OR 2-Shalala and Hocutt backed up the money truck, offered up full control to top candidates and still couldn't lure top coaches from mid-tier programs to come to Miami and this program already has become irrelevent and will remain that way for the forseeable future.

Bottom line, if we don't have a big name coach locked up by Christmas, we're in big trouble, folks.

It's exciting to hear Gruden being mentioned for this job, but it doesn't make sense on several fronts:
1. For Gruden: I'd think he'd rather be coaching in the NFL. I'm guessing he'd rather not worry about on-field or off-field issues with a bunch of 18, 19, 20-year-olds.
2. For UM's football program: It's pretty clear that Gruden would have a short stay here, and that it'd be 2-3 years before he bolts to the NFL. Other schools would exploit that in recruiting. Plus, do we really want to go through this again in a couple years?
3. For UM's administration: My best guess is that Donna Shalala won't sign off on a new coach until she gets some assurances that the current grad rate/API scores and off-field behavior remain as exemplary as it was under Shannon's watch. And that's the way it should be. Will Gruden care about any of that?

great article manny. just hope the program goes back to being competitive on the field and staying competitive in classroom. too much talent to be 7-5

Marc Trestman will be UMiami's New Head Football Coach...Uheard it here first!!

Remember the name "Shula" well theres one still available - Mike Shula he has HC experience at Alabama. He took a school that was on probation and WON. He lost his job because they lost to the school's instate rival. But they beat the GAYTORS! He has a proven track record. He could do the job. He has south florida ties, good recruiter, and knows how to coach! Give him an interview!

Posted by: northfloridacane | November 29, 2010 at 12:20 PM


Mike Shula. Good Lord. Shut up you idiot.

Manny, keep doing what you are doing and don't doubt yourself. You passed on the rumors you'd heard as just that, rumors and indicated you were working for independant confirmation. The twitter/blog/instant info age complicates things a lot. We want to hear the scuttlebut. Keep doing what you're doing in being straight with us.

Thanks for all the hard work!

As a long time Bucs fan and U fan, I think that Gruden would be a very good fit. The problem with Gruden over the years with the Bucs is that his rah-rah style wears on pro players. But, in college... these kids are very impressionable and are gone after a few years, so they aren't worn down by his demeamor.

I wonder why Harbaugh out of Stanford isn't a name being thrown around. Look at the success he's had at Stanford - STANFORD for crying out loud.

Posted by: Big Slap Shot Bob | November 29, 2010 at 12:34 PM


Because maybe Harbaugh is not interested? Ever thought of that?

Richt won't work for Shalala. Politics are polar opposites. Somebody has to have the backbone to stand up to her. The way Jimmie used to tell Foote where to get off.

Boo leach and anyone I've never heard of or anyone who coached the "Alouette gentille alouettes".

Yay Butch, Patterson Pe/atterson, Gruden.

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