Gruden, ESPN agree to multiyear deal
ESPN "Monday Night Football" analyst and former longtime NFL coach Jon Gruden has agreed to a multiyear extension with the network.
Gruden, who joined ESPN in September to replace Tony Kornheiser in the MNF booth, will also appear on ESPN's Super Bowl week and NFL draft coverage, will call the 2010 NFL Pro Bowl and will serve as an analyst for ESPN Radio's 2010 Rose Bowl and BCS title game broadcasts, where he will again team with MNF play-by-play caller Mike Tirico.
"Working with Mike, [Ron Jaworski] and our entire 'Monday Night Football' team is the most fun I have had in years, and I am fired up to make this long-term commitment to ESPN," Gruden said in a statement. "'Monday Night Football' is special and I look forward to remaining a part of it and continuing to call these great games."
Gruden, fired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Jan. 16, was the winningest coach in Bucs history (60-57 in seven seasons) and led Tampa Bay to victory in Super Bowl XXXVII. He also has coached the Oakland Raiders.
Gruden's name has been mentioned in connection with a number of potential coaching vacancies, both in the NFL and college football.
"Jon has truly reinvented himself, from a Super Bowl-winning head coach to one of the foremost NFL analysts in the business, and the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive," said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president of production. "We are thrilled with his commitment to ESPN, which ensures that Jon will continue on 'Monday Night Football' with Mike and Jaws, and he will have the opportunity to do even more with ESPN."
Gruden began his NFL coaching career in 1990 when Mike Holmgren, then offensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers, hired him as an assistant in charge of quality control. Gruden quickly ascended through the ranks by learning the famed West Coast offense pioneered by longtime 49ers coach Bill Walsh.
When Holmgren left the 49ers to become head coach of the Green Bay Packers in 1992, he named Gruden the Packers' wide receivers coach. After three seasons in Green Bay, Gruden moved on to become the Philadelphia Eagles' offensive coordinator under head coach Ray Rhodes. In 1998, Gruden was chosen by Oakland owner and general manager Al Davis to be the Raiders' new head coach at age 34.
A native of Sandusky, Ohio, Gruden grew up in a football family. His father, Jim, served as an assistant at Notre Dame in the late 1970s and later with the Buccaneers. Gruden graduated from the University of Dayton, where he was a backup quarterback. After graduation, he started his career as a graduate assistant at Tennessee in 1986. He also served as the quarterbacks coach at Southeast Missouri State (1987-88) and the wide receivers coach at both Pacific (1989) and Pittsburgh (1991) in the college ranks.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.