Texas is still on the search for its next head coach, and Jon Gruden may be just the man to fill the shoes Mack Brown is leaving behind.
Gruden is “open to hearing” from Texas about the job, according to OrangeBloods.com, which also was the first to report Brown’s resignation. Brown announced his resignation last week, leading to incessant speculation connecting high-profile coaches to the vacancy.
Gruden, who won Super Bowl XXXVII with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, spent 11 seasons in the NFL as a head coach with both the Raiders and Buccaneers before being fired after the 2008 season. He has been linked to nearly every NFL opening over the last five years, including the Houston Texans’ expected vacancy this offseason.
Gruden always appears interested in at least listening to the offers, but he has made it abundantly clear that he plans to stay in the broadcast booth, calling Monday Night Football games for ESPN, at least through 2014.
The Longhorns’ job is one of the most attractive in the college ranks, though, with an abundance of resources — $$$ — and the sort of tradition that would attract big-time coaches.
Gruden, 50, last coached in college in the 1991 season, when he was the wide receivers coach at the University of Pittsburgh.
However, other NFL coaches have found success returning to colleges in recent years, including Pete Carroll, who won two national titles at USC, and Jim Mora, who has rejuvenated UCLA.