Jon Gruden denies offer of Tennessee football coach job

Jon Gruden denies offer of Tennessee football coach job

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Jon Gruden (source: ESPN) Jon Gruden (source: ESPN)

By JIM WOGAN
6 Sports Director

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - ESPN analyst Jon Gruden has shot down a report by a Memphis television station that he's about to become the next head football coach at the University of Tennessee.

"There is no truth to that," Gruden said Wednesday on ESPN Radio's Mike and Mike show.

Some Tennessee fans went to bed Tuesday night thinking Gruden was about to become the Volunteers' next head coach. That's because a wild deal reportedly offered Gruden partial ownership of the NFL's Cleveland Browns.

The Browns were recently purchased by Knoxville businessman Jimmy Haslam III, the son of Jim Haslam.

Jim Haslam is a Tennessee booster, founder of Pilot Oil Co. and a former UT football player.

"No there isn't," Gruden replied when asked by show hosts Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic if there were any truth to the Memphis television station report.

"I don't have time to get into all that stuff. I like what I am doing. I am just trying to hang onto the job I have to be honest with you. Let's leave it at that," Gruden added.

Memphis TV station WREG has since amended its report with a statement from Cleveland Browns Vice President of Media Relations Neal Gulkis saying, "Jimmy Haslam has no involvement in the University of Tennessee head coaching search, and the report that Jon Gruden would potentially have an ownership stake in the Browns is completely erroneous."

Gruden has been a television analyst since 2009.

He is the former head coach of the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders.

Gruden started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Tennessee in 1986.

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