Miami’s Kirby Hocutt has 1pm ET conference set for Sunday and according to some folks, the Jon Gruden talk has heated up over the past 12 hours. Not sure that means an announcement is forthcoming this quickly, but Gruden still looks like the leading candidate.
Word is that Gruden has been offered $3M for his services and that all current conversation revolves around salaries for assistants and other finite details.
A players meeting was held this morning at 10am ET, which wasn’t attended by former head coach Randy Shannon. His assistants were in tow and were told by Hocutt that they were allowed to leave and focus on seeking new employment, but all have decided to stick around to coach the bowl game – even offensive coordinator Mark Whipple, who at one point was rumored to have been let go (per ESPN), but was retained, for now.
Quarterback Jacory Harris has stated that the bowl game will be dedicated to Shannon.
More to come as it comes.
– 4:11pm ET – Things are easily getting crazy good, or the rumor mill is working overtime (yes, probably the latter). Recent talk about getting funds ready to make Jim Leavitt an offer … as defensive coordinator under Gruden. Again, just another rumor and yes, I agree everything is laughable at this point. Don’t shoot the messenger. Just have fun with it.
Some truth and not rumor – the fact that TCU is accepting a bid to join the Big East, meaning the Horned Frogs will now be a part of a (weak) conference that receives an automatic BCS bid. That combined with a contract that has Gary Patterson signed through 2016, a safe bet that the long-time coach isn’t leaving Texas anytime soon.
– 2:05pm ET – Dan LeBatard citing a source which has Gruden stating, “No, I’m not going to the University of Miami”, which raises flags.
Last night Gruden released an official statement where he said he was happy at ESPN and committed to his Monday Night Football gig. At no point did he even mention the UM job, yet supposedly did so to a LeBatard ‘source’.
Gruden had the opportunity to go on record OFFICIALLY last night, stating that he wasn’t a UM candidate and didn’t do so.
– 11:40am ET – According to the original friend-of-the program who broke the “Gruden to Miami” story to us three weeks back states that this could happen Tuesday. He also stated that at this point, he’ll believe it when he sees it as he’s confused as the rest of us.
On one level, it makes sense. Miami and Gruden went back and forth Sunday and got close or even agreed on a number, but due to Monday Night Football obligations and the Super Bowl winning former coach being in Phoenix for ESPN tonight, decided to squash out the ‘rumor’ for the next 24 hours.
Each scenario seems as plausible as the next, but with all the talk about a “done deal” Sunday night and Miami not afraid to open the checkbook, the fact that it could be a MNF formality and everyone waiting until Tuesday to announce – it could make sense.
– 6:23am ET – Manny Navarro wrote a detailed piece for Monday’s edition of the Miami Herald and there really is no ‘new’ news, outside of what is already known. Gruden is Miami’s top target … the university is willing to pay him “far more” than Shannon received … there is “mutual interest” … that Gruden ‘prefers’ a NFL job … that Gruden IS in Phoenix for Monday Night Football this evening … that the university has run projections regarding how much revenue a Gruden-type hiring would generate … and that other candidates who will get consideration are former USF head coach Jim Leavitt, former UM offensive coordinator Marc Trestman and current Georgia coach Mark Richt. (Former UF offensive coordinator and current Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen has been contacted to ‘gauge interest’.) … and lastly, that Hocutt has giving a list of candidates to consultant Chuck Neinas to work with.
– 11:23pm ET – As quick as Gruden was a ‘lock’, several sites are now reporting that there is no deal. The latest to chime in, CBS Sports and a statement from a source close to Gruden who says there’s a “zero percent chance” that the MNF analyst winds up in Coral Gables.
Before we shut it down for the night, let’s end with this – nobody knows anything for certain.
The Gruden rumor first crossed our path here at allCanesBlog.com on Wednesday November 10th, from a close-to-the-program, reliable friend. He stated there was “mutual interest” and that both Shalala and Hocutt were very committed to fielding a winner.
While many were steadfast that Shannon wouldn’t be fired. 17 days before the plug was pulled, we were informed that UM’s top brass was talking with Gruden and would do what needed to be done to field a winner.
Within hours of Saturday’s loss to South Florida, an emergency Saturday night meeting was called and Shannon was let go – again, backing the premise that UM is going to do what needs to be done.
As dead as the Gruden rumor might be – with the in-demand former coach possibly looking to create hype, upping his status and NFL price tag – this could just as easily be a smokescreen. Gruden is expected in the booth for ESPN tomorrow night when the Cardinals and 49ers go toe-to-toe in Glendale. Sunday night or Monday obviously wouldn’t be the proper time to release new about a new gig.
Some speculate that the news would come Tuesday, with Gruden making his way to South Florida after tomorrow night’s NFL game, while others state that TCU head coach Gary Patterson or off-the-radar Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema are in the running and UM’s top brass is letting them figure out their BCS status before pushing for an interview and decision. (There’s been talk of waiting on a current head coach with a team high up in the BCS rankings and both Patterson and Bielema fit the description.)
Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables has been mentioned as well, being that he and Hocutt have Kansas State ties.
Lastly, the service of consultant Chuck Neinas have been attained (per Hocutt) for upwards of $50K, which has many stating that if Gruden is truly penciled in as ‘the guy’, then why retain the services of Neinas?
It’s time Hurricane Nation takes a deep breath and waits to see how things play out. We’ve all gotten knee-deep in the hype this weekend, which is understandable. To go from uncertainty regarding Shannon’s status, to his dismissal and all this new coach talk in a matter of a day and a half – it’s overwhelming.
Whatever happens, Miami fans need to take solace in the fact that change has been made as well as the fact that the administration is committed to fielding a winner.
Miami will get their guy. Might not be tonight, but the next coach will be in place soon enough.
– 9:59pm ET – According to Peter King of Sports Illustrated, “Jon Gruden is not going to the University of Miami. Period.” That was written after stating, “I’m hearing the Gruden-to-Miami rumors are fraudulent. But will keep you informed if I hear differently.”
– 8:22pm ET – Rumor has it the deal is done and that Jon Gruden will be announced as the next head football coach at the University of Miami. Stay tuned for more
– 7:43pm ET – Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald reporting ‘strong chatter’ that Gruden has agreed to be UM’s next head football coach. Also mentioned that early this morning Dan Morgan mentioned that Gruden had begun contract talks with ‘The U’.
– 7:25pm ET – Was just told that ‘Gruden to Miami’ is “getting closer”. Could be done as early as tonight. Stay tuned.
– 5:01pm ET – From a source that met with Kirby an hour ago, Gruden is absolutely the NUMBER ONE candidate, but no deal has been signed as of yet.
– 4:19pm ET – Several sites are confirming Gruden to ‘The U’ at $3M per year. They’re “saying” it could be announced as early as tonight and as late as first thing Monday morning.