Is Jon Gruden a Viable Candidate at Tennessee?

By Patrick Schmidt

The University of Tennessee may be searching for a new head coach in the next two weeks with rumors rampant that Derek Dooley is on his way out of Knoxville.

Could one former Super bowl winning coach in the NFL be a candidate to replace Dooley and restore the pride and power at the SEC east school?

Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden has been out coaching for the past few years since his firing as the coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but if Tennessee gave him a contract in the $7-8 million range, would he consider leaving Mike Tirico in the booth for a chance to be back on the sidelines?

Gruden has made his living as an NFL coach and has never been a head coach in college, but I think Gruden is itching to get back to coaching and would at least listen if approached by Tennessee about their potential open coaching job.

Coaching is clearly in his blood as he has been a volunteer coach in Tampa and has a show on ESPN where he visits with quarterback prospects prior to the NFL draft to watch tape and break down the game film as if he were preparing for a game that week.

Gruden has been linked to jobs at Miami and Notre Dame in the past few years, but rebuffed those overtures to remain in the broadcast booth and even signed a five-year extension this September.

However, after four years in the booth perhaps Gruden is ready to scratch that itch and get back on the sidelines and embark on a different challenge at Tennessee.

Follow me on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt

Patrick is a diehard Chicago sports and an avid college football fan, and the host of “The Wake-up Call,” a weekly sports show on airing live on Wednesday mornings from 8-10. View his show’s website here.

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