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Would Canes-Gruden really be a great fit?

University of Miami athletic director Kirby Hocutt is expected to deliver his pitch to Jon Gruden in person Wednesday and try to snag the biggest fish in all of football. But if Hocutt can't bait him (I'd say there probably is a better chance Hocutt won't) it doesn't mean the Hurricanes will necessarily be losing out.

Jon Gruden As sexy a hire as Gruden might be for the people powering this push for relevance at UM, the truth is there are probably better fits the Hurricanes can find elsewhere. History tells us the most successful coaches at UM -- Howard Schnellenberger, Jimmy Johnson, Dennis Erickson, Butch Davis and, yes, Larry Coker -- weren't exactly big names or established championship coaches before they became the man at Miami. They made their mark at UM as hungry, up-and-comers looking to establish their own fame and success.

Gruden has already tasted his. He won a Super Bowl when he was 38 years old, the youngest ever at the time. Now, he entertains us on Monday Night Football (kind of reminds me a little of John Madden). The issue here isn't if Gruden would be a good coach at Miami. The man knows football. He was 100-85 and made the playoffs five times in 11 NFL seasons. There's no doubt he would give Hocutt and UM's administration exactly what they're looking for: an instant shot of relevance and excitement for a rabid fan base starving for some.

The issue for UM, in the end, is if Gruden will really be the perfect fit -- especially for around $3.5 million (astronomical rates by Canes standards). Is the grind that is recruiting something Gruden is going to want to do? How about the every day stuff like chasing 18 and 19-year old players to class, making sure they stay away from South Beach, and helping who ever needs counseling get through tough struggles off the field? You know, The U family stuff. UM President Donna Shalala may love winning more than anybody at UM, as Hocutt said Sunday. But she doesn't seem to me like a person who will all of a sudden let the principles she asked Randy Shannon to uphold slip, so UM can win more games and play for championships. 

I'm not saying Gruden couldn't be Superman here and do it all well. But the fact is he hasn't coached in college since 1991. All he's known for the last 19 years is the NFL. His reputation (one I gathered from talking to a sports writer who covered him in Tampa) is that of a football coach who is a competitive junkie, someone who loves the X's and O's with a passion and drives his assistants hard to achieve perfection. He's a guy who wakes up at 3 a.m. and is in the building to work by 4:30 or 5. Nothing wrong if you want to win. But college football is clearly a completely different animal than the NFL.

And that formula of winning at the NFL level doesn't always translate to college. Bill Walsh went from winning three Super Bowls with the 49ers in the 1980s to spending three years at Stanford in 1992. He won 10 games in his first season including the Pac 10 title, then went 7-14-1 over his next two. Bill Callahan led the Raiders to the Super Bowl in 2002 (against Gruden) and in 2004 found himself at Nebraska. He went 27-22 and in four seasons and played for the Big 12 title only once. He's now back in the NFL as an assistant. Al Groh (Virginia) and Chan Gailey (Georgia Tech) are others who won some, but didn't have major success in the ACC. The point is for every Pete Carroll at USC or Nick Saban at LSU and Alabama, there are examples of an NFL coach going back to college and not working.

And Gruden will definitely have to recruit. This isn't a team built to win a championship right. The quarterback play remains questionable. Receivers, linebackers and defensive tackles aren't stacked either. This isn't a matter of a team ready to win a championship and just needing the right leader.

In the end, who really knows what Gruden's intentions are and why he's even meeting with Hocutt at this point. Maybe, he'd like to coach his son Deuce (currently a junior in high school) in college? Maybe coaching at Carrollwood High got him thinking he'd like to go back to coaching young players, teach them the fundamentals of the game. Maybe, he would like to coach with his brother, Jay, potentially his offensive coordinator, and be the next biggest thing on South Beach behind LeBron, Wade and Bosh. Maybe, he'd love to be the next Pete Carroll and win three national championships. Or, maybe, this is all about Gruden trying to get his name out with the NFL season coming to a close soon and big jobs likely to become available. Whatever his intentions, that's Gruden's business. Miami seems to be willing to go to extremes to get him.

All I know is on Sunday, as we listened to Hocutt, I heard three different messages about his search for a choice. The first: "At the U, we expect to compete for championships and nothing less." The next: "Miami must be relevant in college football." And the last: "You can be relevant nationally and not win your conference. But at the end of the day, you must be relevant nationally here at the University of Miami."

Gruden would definitely make the Canes relevant. But I'm not sold on the rest of it. I'd rather have a guy who has done it all already somewhere else and is ready to take his success -- and UM's -- to the next level.

> I just want to give credit to our own Barry Jackson and Susan Miller Degnan for some excellent reporting tonight on this Gruden story. It's easy for anybody -- me included -- to get on Twitter and post stuff we hear from sources. But I can tell you putting it in print is a different deal. Barry and Susan worked hard last night to get a lot of good detail in today's story from sources as close to the situation as possible.

> As the story mentioned, if Gruden doesn't pan out the other potential targets include Mississippi State's Dan Mullen, Stanford's Jim Harbaugh, Connecticut's Randy Edsall, Utah's Kyle Whittingham and Arizona's Mike Stoops, plus at least two others names, sources said.

Of that group, Mullen, Harbaugh and Edsall intrigue me the most. The issue of course is that Mississippi State is trying to act fast as possible to resign Mullen to a bigger contract. Harbaugh, a Michigan grad, has done a great job at USC and would also be a huge get for Miami. But I suspect he'd be Wolverines all the way if he left Stanford. Edsall is probably the most reachable. He just isn't the name that sparkles and gets fans excited. So, essentially, I think this list will expand to include some more top-notch names.

As I was told last night by a source, UM is ultimately looking for a charismatic leader who is an established winning he coach and doesn't come with any baggage. Just thinking out loud, but I think Wisconsin's Bret Bielema (45-16 at Wisconsin) and Baylor's Art Briles are guys who have won in tough conferences that probably deserve consideration. Outside of that, a good NFL coordinator wouldn't be bad -- especially with the labor issues in store for next year.


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How about Herm Edwards?

I cannot believe we're even talking about the mediocre Mike Shula. We need Denny Greene, or some other Bill Walsh protege.

We need former players back in the picture.

U hear that "Uncle Luke?"

Fellow canes, I implore you to realize we aren't a top tier program. We aren't getting a harbaugh,peterson, or mullen.

Who is going to photoshop edsall in canes gear? Come on the gruden one waa a cute tease to all 27k of is at the USF game

Why do people bring up the stadium as a big deal in recruiting? The stadium is fine, it's the team that needs help.

Noone will be complaining once we start winning.

I wouldn't write off Gruden as a possibilty. For 1. The NFL could very well have a work stoppage next year.
2.Gruden loves attention and did anyone really think that an announcement was going to happen today anyway? C'mon
3.Holcutt would be smart to interview everyone on the list before he makes any public statement. What always glitter ain't always gold.
4. His son plays in Florida and he could have the opportunity to coach his son. U know like Shannon did with Jacory.
5. Gruden would have more time off as apposed to the NFL where they work 18 hrs a day.

I any event everyone on the list that has been shared to us by the different websites are better than the last 2 bozo's we had here.

Just for gods sake do not hire Tuberville or Leavitt. And the thought of Denny green or worse Herm Edwards is worse than keeping SHannon. Edwards has already destroyed 2 franchises but he is comical to watch.

Harbaugh, Peterson, Petrino, Patterson,Brady Hoke or Leach would all do a great job here. Then possibly Venerables. I hate to go the coordinator route again but I would rather see him than Tuberville or Leavitt.

Oh yeah, have U ever known Miami to do anything that was not Drama Filled.

I feel like Gruden is still a possibilty. If it wasnt their would be a formal deny.


___ dan mullen(former gator, gimmick offense)

___ chris Peterson(dan hawkins anyone?)

___ gary patterson(spread offense)

___ jim Leavitt(crazy, lawsuit)

___ mike leach(dirtbag, lawsuit)

___ brent venables(assistant, crazy)

___ kyle wittingham(irrelevant hire)

___ brady hoke(irrelevant hire)


___ gus malzahn(gimmick-yet balanced offense)

___ Houston nutt(energy, HC experience)

___ greg shiano(UM ties, HC experience)

___ randy edsall(energy, HC experience)

___ bobby petrino(prolific offense, HC experience, nfl connections)

___ pete carroll(energy, HC experience, nfl connections, doubtful but im just throwin out names)

___ jimmy Johnson(energy, UM ties, HC experience- yet up there in age, nfl connections, prolific offense)


___ jon gruden(energy, HC experience, nfl connections, prolific offense)

___ jim harbaugh(energy, prolific offense, HC experience, nfl connections)

___ butch davis(UM ties, HC experience, nfl connections, energy)

___ mark richt(UM ties, HC experience, energy, prolific offense)

___ tommy tuberville(UM ties, HC experience)

___ mike gundy(he’d never come here, but I wanted to throw the name out there for the heck of it)

___ les miles(not well appreciated at LSU, wouldn’t leave for UM either, but whatever. I threw it out there anyway)


c'mon manny give us some REAL news!

LMAO!!!!!!I'm a USC grad and I came across this article out of curiosity. Now, I would not comment, but when I saw the name Jim Harbough? I started to Laugh my A*s off!"Harbaugh, a Michigan grad, has done a great job at USC and would also be a huge get for Miami. But I suspect he'd be Wolverines all the way if he left Stanford." Look, honestly speaking "The U" has not done anything in the ACC. Ever since you guys have joined. All you have done is complain. Now, why would Harbough leave Stanford which has bigger boosting to go to a private school that would probably pay him less. Granted the Trojans are not so hot right now, but at least we fill the Colosseum. And do not give that crap of five national titles. Because you know what? We have more than double and bigger boosting! lol Even your so call RIVAL "NOTRE DAME", which we play every year has an exclusive contract with NBC. What does that mean kids? You are right! More DINERO!!!! Oh yeah, how many titles does ND have again? hahaha You people need somebody that is hungry and to your program no matter what. Gruden would have been there for 3 years MAX and leave out of frustration. Jim Harbough is most likely to go to the NFL than becoming a Hurricane. Unless, Tiger Woods, John Elway and the rest Country Club millionaires stop supporting Stanford. Then I would say you have a 15 percent shot on getting him. Edsall is your best bet. Hungry and he could develop players, but then again that just my two cents.

Can someone please tell me why in the hell donald trump is meddling in UM affairs? What ties does he have to UM or south florida? Unless he is prepared to dish out a few million to the athletic department he needs to shut up and mind his business!!!!

Can someone please tell me why in the hell donald trump is meddling in UM affairs? What ties does he have to UM or south florida? Unless he is prepared to dish out a few million to the athletic department he needs to shut up and mind his business!!!!

I don't know but if he will shell out enough to upgrade our facilities and build our own stadium I'd listen to what he said.

Also Chucky ain't no fool. He is just letting them all know that if he comes, its going to be his way not shalaber or anyone else's. Don't be surprised if he is on the sideline next year with that face all scrunched up wearing a U visor.

Gruden is not coming. Most of these candidates, especially Mullen, are a poor fit. Harbaugh is a great coach who runs a pro-style offense--but he will not come here. Randy Edsall is a great coach, but I think they won't go there b/c they want name recognition.
All that being said, I think Leach is our best shot. Any other and, quite honestly, firing Randy Shannon will prove to be a tremendous error and doom this program for years to come. If Randy goes to Minnesota, I bet Seantrel Henderson goes with him. Our current recruits are dropping like flies.

We need to resolve this fast, or we will be the bottom dwellers of the ACC. And when that happens, Kirby, all of us UM alumni will be calling for your head!!!

What current recruits last time I checked we had 7 and then Jean louise decommitted. IT always happens like that when there is a coaching change. ITs better to have happened not than happen next year when we had a full amount of scholarships. Once a coach is named everything will fall into place. Just relax. But laying all joking aside, I like Leach because he is rebellious like Jimmy Johnson was but have U ever heard the guy commentate a game. Man it is brutal to hear him for 3 hrs on TV. But the guy does know how to coach and really got screwed over by Texas Tech. Could you imagine what he would do with our skill players? He'd blow the ACC out of the water.

Posted by: USCTrojanMiami | December 01, 2010 at 10:42 PM

How's that Reggie Bush Heisman Trophy looking in tha USC trophy case? And oh yeah...how's that O.J. Heisman looking these days? Those two cats are great represenatives of that great school you attended.

Pete Carroll packed up his 4 wheeler and high tailed it out of goof ball country and now resides in Seattle. What am I forgeting? Ah yes, how are those NCAA sanctions doing for your recruiting? It must feeel good to have the most hated coach in any sport in America heading up that vaunted football program of yours that just got blown out by Notre Dame...those guys with the TV network.

Good luck in the future Spanky as it will take you cheaters about 10 years or so to recover from those sanctions.

PS: Be sure to give a shout-out to O.J Mayo--another of those cheaters in your sports programs.

You probably shouldn't have commented USCTrojandouche. Outside of UF, you guys have the biggesat scumbag for a head coach. University of Scandalous Cheaters

Just saw on twitter that uncle luke is trying to meet with shalala to wrangle the famu coach. That would be a coup but if some of you want JJ why not consider. Eddie Robonson?w

Kirby, your hunt for a football coach in this bandwagon town of Miami should be simple this time. Mike is ready willing and the only one able to bring a title to this school. To hear reports of baggage? I know that you are not worried about baggage, if not UM would have never met with John (Chucky) Gruden. Gruden is the best coach available, though with several openings coming up next year in the NFL he will not be willing to coach UM. Lets research and go back and not forget Grudens issues. I would take Gruden with his past issues. So why not Mike? What is baggage? A beer with lunch before a meeting? A kid in a closet. I would have been worried if he would have been in the closet with the kid? It takes a special person to motivate and earn the respect of these young men.

Now back to Mike, Leach is a highly intelligent individual that has no need to coach. It is his passion. Make it our passion. The right coach at the right price at the right time. Sit with him and give him the chance to let you know how he feels about coaching. Do not lose your chance. Mike Leach UM's head coach. Come on Jimmy Johnson was our coach and he is selling Extendze for God's sake.

Thank you for your time,



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