Clay’s Jon Gruden Diary: Day Three

Dear Diary,

I really, honestly believe Jon Gruden is going to be the next head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers.

And today we got two big pieces of evidence that might happen.

First, and you know this must be positive news about Gruden for me to share it on Outkick considering these guys are on at the same time as me on the radio, but Jon Gruden went on a dying ESPN radio show whose ratings are collapsing because Outkick is kicking their ass and talked about his future. While there on that dying show that is falling apart because of Outkick, Gruden was specifically asked about his interest in the University of Tennessee football job and said this:

First, Gruden has an easy opportunity here to say he isn’t going to be the Tennessee football coach and that he has no interest in coaching in college football. He doesn’t do that. Instead Gruden says, “I haven’t talked to anybody….I’m real sensitive to the coaches out there coaching so I don’t speculate…I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future…I don’t plan on leaving, but as you know in life, you never say never to nothing.”

So when specifically asked about the Tennessee football job, a job, mind you, where there is no head coach so he wouldn’t be speculating about a potential opening, Gruden chose not to close the door at all.

In fact, he specifically said you never say never to nothing, which, aside from the double negative, means he’s open to the idea.

Second, and more importantly, the Chattanooga Times Free Press has an article today featuring an interview with David Blackburn, one of the finalists to have been named Tennessee athletic director and he said as follows:

This is highly specific info about Gruden reaching out to try and put together an all star coaching staff of Tennessee coaches and the newspaper is quoting one of Gruden’s best friends, a guy he has regularly talked with since the 1980’s.

At an absolute minimum there is now tons of evidence that Gruden has called and spoken with several coaches about potentially being on his staff at Tennessee.

This is, I suspect, why local media in Tennessee is more apt to believe Gruden to Tennessee makes sense. Because their contacts are all people Gruden has been talking to. Whereas the national media is treating this just like Jim Harbaugh to Michigan. Remember how all the NFL guys never believe an NFL guy will take a college job? Go back and read all the articles about how Harbaugh would never leave the 49ers for Michigan.

The simple truth is this, the heart wants what the heart wants.

And Gruden’s heart wants Tennessee. Because he knows he can become a legend in college football. Hell, the guy won a Super Bowl in Tampa and he’s a hundredth as popular there as he would be if he won an SEC title at Tennessee.

Now, as I’m sure you guys know, coaches frequently make these calls to inquire about whether other coaches would be interested in joining their staff if they get the job so this doesn’t guarantee Gruden will be Tennessee’s coach, but it does prove he is seriously considering it.

It’s not just smoke, there’s fire here.

And I hope that fiery passion leads to the next Pope of Tennessee football — THIS GUY — the Grudenator in orange.

Personally, I choose to believe the people I am talking to and all the fire surrounding Jon Gruden.

As we sit here on day three of the Gruden diary I truly believe Jon Gruden will be the next coach at Tennessee.

And if he or his family is reading this and needs encouragement, here is my three year old son Nash, who has the same haircut as Jon, beseeching him to come to coach the Vols.

Written by Clay Travis

OutKick founder, host and author. He's presently banned from appearing on both CNN and ESPN because he’s too honest for both.