Jon Gruden Turns Down Tennessee Coaching Job
Tennessee will focus on other coaching candidates after ESPN football analyst Jon Gruden reportedly turned down the Vols' offer, according to multiple sources.
Sources told ESPN.com that there were discussions between the two sides but Gruden informed Tennessee officials that he was not interested in replacing Derek Dooley.
"Coach Gruden has let us know that he's not interested, and we're pursuing other candidates," a Tennessee official said.
During an interview with ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike In The Morning", Gruden clarified that there was no truth to a report by Memphis television station WREG that he was considering an offer to coach the Vols.
It was also reported that Gruden will also be given part-ownership of the Cleveland Browns if he accepts the Vols job. The Browns are owned by Jimmy Haslam, the son of Tennessee's most prominent booster, Jim Haslam, who is the founder of Pilot Oil.
"Jon has made it clear he's committed to ESPN," Gruden's agent, Bob LaMonte said, adding that reports that his client received an offer from Tennessee were from a "fantasy world".
The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported that Gruden was extended a lucrative offer by Tennessee and that there was no firm deadline for him to make a decision.
However, multiple sources supported Bob LaMonte's claim, saying that Gruden was never offered a contract and that specific financial parameters were not discussed when Tennessee officials talked with him last week.
"We never sat down and scheduled a meeting. Coach Gruden declined a meeting," a Tennessee source told ESPN.com. "Financial details weren't discussed because it never got to that point."
Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart is expected to meet with potential candidates next week. Some of the names that have been mentioned as possibilities include Florida State's Jimbo Fisher, Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy, Miami's Al Golden, North Carolina's Larry Fedora, Louisville's Charlie Strong and UCLA's Jim Mora Jr.
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