Source: 'Zero chance' Gruden to Miami
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- An ESPN executive says he expects Jon Gruden to stay in broadcasting instead of returning to coaching, and a source close to Gruden told ESPN's Joe Schad there is "zero" chance Gruden will accept the Miami Hurricanes coaching job.
Miami fired coach Randy Shannon last weekend, hours after the Hurricanes lost to South Florida in their regular-season finale and finished the regular season 7-5.
Miami athletic director Kirby Hocutt did meet with Gruden Wednesday for what a source termed "exploratory talks" that did not include a job offer or discussion of salary. The source said it would be up to Gruden to advance discussions.
The Super Bowl-winning former Tampa Bay and Oakland coach has been linked to the opening at Miami. Gruden was hired as an analyst for "Monday Night Football" before last season after being fired by the Buccaneers.
On a conference call Wednesday about ESPN's new booth crew for "Sunday Night Baseball," executive vice president Norby Williamson was asked if he thought Gruden would remain with the network.
His response was "absolutely."
"My feeling is Jon is in Year 2 of a long-term contract, and we expect Jon to be on 'Monday Night Football' doing what he's been doing for a long time to come," Williamson said.
But Williamson also said it was worth the risk to hire announcers who might soon return to coaching if it meant having the top talent, however briefly.
Sources in Miami had indicated Tuesday night that Gruden was the Hurricanes' top choice. Gruden issued a statement Sunday night: "I am committed to 'Monday Night Football' and to ESPN. I enjoy working with Mike, Jaws and our entire crew and am just trying to get better at this job."
If Gruden takes himself out of the mix, Miami might look to Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen.
Mullen, a former Florida assistant, is coming off a successful second season in Starkville. In addition to going 8-4 and getting the Bulldogs to their second bowl game in the past nine seasons, part of Mullen's attractiveness to Miami is his defensive coordinator, Manny Diaz. He's a Miami native whose father is a former two-term mayor of the city.
There is a chance Mullen and Diaz would not be a package deal to Miami, however. If Mullen were to leave, Diaz would be considered one of the top candidates to replace him at Mississippi State.
ESPN.com's Pat Forde contributed to this report. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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