|Date of birth||August 17, 1963|
|Place of birth||Sandusky, Ohio|
|High school||South Bend (IN) Clay|
|Head coaching record|
|Regular season||95–81 (.540)|
|Career record||100-85 (.541)|
|Super Bowl wins||Super Bowl XXXVII|
|Coaching stats||Pro Football Reference|
|Team(s) as a player|
|Team(s) as a coach/administrator|
Jon David Gruden (born August 17, 1963) Nick named "Chucky" for his aggressive attitude and looks, he is a former NFL head coach and current NFL analyst for ESPN. He was the head coach of the Oakland Raiders and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, winning Super Bowl XXXVII in his first year with the Buccaneers (defeating the Raiders, his former team that traded him to Tampa Bay the previous off-season). At the time, Gruden was the youngest head coach ever to win a Super Bowl at age 39 years, 5 months and 9 days.
Jon Gruden was born on August 17, 1963, in Sandusky, Ohio. His father, Jim, later served as a professional football regional scout, running backs coach and director of player personnel for the Tampa Bay Bucs. His brother, Jay, played and coached in the Arena Football League, then became a coach, including serving as head coach of the Washington Redskins. His other brother, James, became a radiologist at the Mayo Clinic.
While growing up in Sandusky, Gruden was a Cleveland Browns fan. He was raised in the Roman Catholic faith. When he was 15, Gruden attended Clay High School in South Bend, Indiana, while his father, Jim, served as an assistant to Dan Devine at the University of Notre Dame. After graduating from high school in 1981, Gruden attended Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio. After one year, he transferred to the University of Dayton, where he was a three-year letterman and backup quarterback for the Flyers under coach Mike Kelly. Gruden never saw much playing time, but the Flyers posted a 24–7 record during his three seasons at UD. Gruden graduated with a degree in communications in 1985.
After graduating from the University of Dayton, Gruden was hired as a graduate assistant coach at the University of Tennessee during the 1985–1986 season. He spent two years after that as the quarterbacks coach at Southeast Missouri State. Gruden then moved to the University of the Pacific in 1989 as offensive assistant as the tight ends coach, where he coached Scott Lubow who was second team All Conference. In 1990, Gruden was a special assistant with the San Francisco 49ers under quarterback coach Mike Holmgren. In March 1991, Gruden became the wide receivers coach for the University of Pittsburgh under Paul Hackett. Walt Harris was the offensive coordinator at Tennessee, where Gruden was one of his graduate assistant coaches, and later hired him at Pacific.
Pro coaching career
In January 1992 when he was 28, Gruden was hired by Mike Holmgren, his former boss at the San Francisco 49ers, to be the special offensive assistant/wide receivers coach with the Green Bay Packers. After three seasons in Green Bay, Gruden became the offensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles under former Packers assistant coach Ray Rhodes. Gruden then was chosen by the owner and general manager of the Oakland Raiders, Al Davis, to be the Raiders' new head coach for the 1998 season.
Under Gruden, the Raiders posted consecutive 8–8 seasons in 1998 and 1999, and leapt out of last place in the AFC West. After uniting with journeyman quarterback Rich Gannon, Gruden led the Raiders to the top of the AFC West and they made the playoffs three straight seasons (the third time under Head Coach Bill Callahan). Oakland finished 12–4 in the 2000 season, the team's most successful in a decade, and its first division title since 1990, ultimately reaching the AFC Championship, where they lost 16–3 to the eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. While Gruden was with the Raiders, Gruden acquired his nickname "Chucky" from Raiders defensive lineman Grady Jackson, who thought that the coach looked like the fictional character "Chucky" in the 1988 movie Child's Play.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After compiling a 40–28 win-loss record (including playoffs) in four seasons with the Raiders, Gruden replaced the fired Tony Dungy as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002, via a high-stakes trade that included Tampa Bay's 2002 and 2003 first-round draft picks, 2002 and 2004 second-round draft picks, and $8 million in cash. The trade took place for a number of reasons, including Davis' desire for a more vertical passing attack rather than Gruden's horizontal pass attack, the fact that Gruden's contract would expire a year after the trade, and Davis' uncertainty over whether Gruden was worth as much money as his next contract was sure to pay him. Gruden signed a five-year contract with the Buccaneers worth $17.5 million.
The Bucs' search had taken more than two months, and Tampa Bay had expressed an interest in Gruden, but Davis had originally refused to release him from his contract. The team subsequently interviewed several other coaches and believed a deal was in place with Bill Parcells, before Parcells backed out, reportedly because his choice for General Manager, Mike Tannenbaum, told him not to accept the job because of the salary cap difficulties that Tampa Bay was about to endure. With the franchise's search floundering, the coach they wanted having only one year remaining on his deal, and the immediate hire of Dungy by the Indianapolis Colts, many fans and sports commentators began to openly question if the Bucs had made the right move by dismissing Dungy. Only a big splash hire could quiet the storm, and this may have been the primary motivation for the Bucs to give up as much as they did to acquire Gruden.
Immediately after arriving in Tampa, Gruden significantly retooled the offense with the addition of numerous free agents. His determination to fix the under-performing offense, so often maligned during Dungy's tenure, inspired Tampa's defense to another #1 ranking, which helped the team to a 12–4 season. Both the offense and defense hit their stride in the playoffs; the Buccaneers posted a playoff per-game point differential of 23 points per game in victory, tied with the 1992 Dallas Cowboys for the highest average playoff margin of victory by a Super Bowl winner in the free agency era. Fans were especially satisfied with a victory in the NFC Championship game against the Philadelphia Eagles, the team that had defeated Tampa Bay in the Wild Card round two years running by the combined score of 52–12, and Gruden was especially satisfied with a dominant win over his old team, the Raiders, in Super Bowl XXXVII. Despite the Super Bowl win, there were many who attributed Gruden's win primarily to the defense that coach Tony Dungy and defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin had created during Dungy's tenure with the Bucs. Gruden, for his part, publicly and graciously thanked Dungy for his contributions upon accepting the Lombardi Trophy at the Super Bowl XXXVII postgame ceremony.
His mantra for the 2002 season was "Pound the Rock", a reference to never giving up. Gruden even went as far as to display a large chunk of granite in the locker room, a tactic mimicked by the Jacksonville Jaguars. (Their slogan, "Keep choppin' wood", was tainted when punter Chris Hanson injured his leg on an axe brought in to accompany a large log.) Upon returning to Tampa after winning Super Bowl XXXVII, he led a capacity crowd at Raymond James Stadium in chanting the phrase. However, it seemingly disappeared from the lexicon the following year, and was not aggressively marketed or displayed on stadium video boards.
In the two years following Gruden's Super Bowl win, the Bucs went 7–9 and 5–11 respectively, implying to many Dungy supporters that Gruden had simply taken over a strong team and driven it into the ground. However, the high draft picks sacrificed by the team to acquire Gruden, along with salary-cap issues and failed draft choices left by the former general manager Rich McKay (with whom Gruden had a bitter relationship) limited Gruden's ability to field the teams he wanted. With no emerging talent in the fold and no money to afford replacements, the team was decimated by injuries to many of the Super Bowl stars, including Joe Jurevicius, Greg Spires, Shelton Quarles, and Brian Kelly, as well as acrimony with highly paid veterans such as Sapp, Keyshawn Johnson and Keenan McCardell.
When former Raiders general manager Bruce Allen joined the Bucs in 2004, Gruden finally had the general manager–head coach partnership he desired, and while the salary cap continued to plague the team (which spent the least money in the league between 2004 and 2009) their 2004 and 2005 drafts yielded a few impact players, including 2005 Offensive NFL Rookie of the Year Award winner Carnell "Cadillac" Williams.
Also, 2005 marked a return to the playoffs, as the Bucs posted a surprising 11–5 record, despite the loss of starting quarterback Brian Griese and some controversial coaching decisions, including a two-point conversion in the final seconds to defeat the Washington Redskins, who would later return to Tampa and eliminate the Bucs from the wild-card round of the playoffs.
In 2006, Gruden led the Buccaneers to a 4–12 season. It was his worst record as a head coach and the first time a Tampa Bay team had not won more than four games since 1991.
In an interview with Ira Kaufman of The Tampa Tribune on March 28, 2007, Bucs executive vice president Joel Glazer discussed the state of the Bucs. During the interview, Joel Glazer defended Gruden's performance, citing lost draft picks, injuries, and salary cap issues. However, he also said "Mediocrity will never be standard for the Buccaneers, but we have to move on."
In 2007, the team finally cleared itself of salary cap constraints and united Gruden with a mobile West Coast quarterback in former Pro Bowler and Grey Cup winner Jeff Garcia. The team posted a 9–7 record with five division wins (after resting starters for the final two games), despite suffering major injuries, several season-ending, to critical players like Luke Petitgout, Carnell Williams, Mike Alstott, Alex Smith, Brian Kelly, Barrett Ruud, Michael Clayton, Patrick Chukwurah, Gaines Adams and starting kick and punt returner Mark Jones. Despite this adversity, however, Gruden declared "The future is so bright around here I have to wear shades".
In 2008, Gruden was rewarded with a contract extension through the 2011 season. On November 30, Gruden earned his 100th win, against the New Orleans Saints. Going into December the Buccaneers were on pace to make the playoffs, claim a bye week and have home field advantage. However, the Buccaneers went winless in the month of December, in no small part due to a defensive collapse that saw the team give up an average of 30.75 points per game. On December 28 the Buccaneers were eliminated from making the playoffs by the Oakland Raiders, the team Gruden left for Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers ended the season with four losses in a row, and Jon Gruden was fired by the Buccaneers on January 16, 2009, after seven seasons with the team.
Post–Tampa Bay career
In May 2010, Jon Gruden became a volunteer assistant offensive line coach at Carrollwood Day School in Tampa, Florida. Shortly after being fired from Tampa Bay, Gruden created the Fired Football Coaches Association. The club's headquarters is in a rented office in a Tampa strip mall.
In May 2009, Gruden was hired by ESPN to serve as a color analyst on its Monday Night Football telecasts, replacing Tony Kornheiser. He has also served as an analyst for ESPN's coverage of postseason college football games, helping to call the 2010 Rose Bowl and 2010 BCS National Championship Game on ESPN Radio and the 2011 Outback Bowl and 2011 Orange Bowl on ESPN television, and in the spring of 2012 was the focus of the series Jon Gruden's QB Camp, where Gruden went over the NFL development process with prospective NFL draftees at quarterback, including Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III in which he occasionally has talks about what he believes to be the best play in football (a play-action pass called “Spider 2 Y-Banana", in which the fullback runs a flat route and is the primary target making other receivers). He has recently signed a contract extension with ESPN, beginning in September 2012, which will lengthen his tenure with the broadcasting company for another five years. It was announced on December 15, 2014 by Mike Tirico that Gruden and ESPN agreed to a contract extension through 2021.
Head coaching record
|Team||Year||Regular Season||Post Season|
|Won||Lost||Ties||Win %||Finish||Won||Lost||Win %||Result|
|OAK||1998||8||8||0||.500||3rd in AFC West||-||-||-||-|
|OAK||1999||8||8||0||.500||4th in AFC West||-||-||-||-|
|OAK||2000||12||4||0||.750||1st in AFC West||1||1||.500||Lost to Baltimore Ravens in AFC Championship Game.|
|OAK||2001||10||6||0||.625||1st in AFC West||1||1||.500||Lost to New England Patriots in AFC Divisional Game.|
|TB||2002||12||4||0||.750||1st in NFC South||3||0||1.000||Super Bowl XXXVII champions|
|TB||2003||7||9||0||.438||3rd in NFC South||-||-||-||-|
|TB||2004||5||11||0||.312||4th in NFC South||-||-||-||-|
|TB||2005||11||5||0||.688||1st in NFC South||0||1||.000||Lost to Washington Redskins in NFC Wild-Card Game.|
|TB||2006||4||12||0||.250||4th in NFC South||-||-||-||-|
|TB||2007||9||7||0||.563||1st in NFC South||0||1||.000||Lost to New York Giants in NFC Wild-Card Game.|
|TB||2008||9||7||0||.563||3rd in NFC South||-||-||-||-|
NFL head coaches under whom Jon Gruden has served:
- George Seifert, San Francisco 49ers (1990)
- Mike Holmgren, Green Bay Packers (1992–1994)
- Ray Rhodes, Philadelphia Eagles (1995–1997)
Assistant coaches under Jon Gruden who have become NFL head coaches:
- Bill Callahan, Oakland Raiders (2002–2003)
- Rod Marinelli, Detroit Lions (2006–2008)
- Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers (2007–present)
- Raheem Morris, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2009–2011)
- Gus Bradley, Jacksonville Jaguars (2013–present)
- Marc Trestman, Chicago Bears (2013–2014)
- Jay Gruden, Washington Redskins (2014–present)
- Rick Stroud (January 12, 2003). "We're just getting started here". St Petersburg Times. Retrieved October 26, 2012.
- Gruden bio cbssports.com/collegefootball/eye-on-college-football/24745189
- http://www.nfl.com/videos?videoId =09000d5d80ffc718
- "Gruden at coaching clinic". The Knoxville News-Sentinel. March 29, 2012. Retrieved October 26, 2012.
- Scott Newman (December 1, 1991). "Turmoil, Poor Decisions Dimmed Pitt's Early Promise". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. D10. Retrieved October 26, 2012.
- Scott Newman (January 23, 1992). "Packers Get Pitt Coaches". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. C1.
- "Baseball Atlanta Braves -- Agreed to terms with OF Tommy...". Baltimore Sun. March 7, 1991. p. 4C. Retrieved October 26, 2012.
- "Franchise Snapshot: Oakland Raiders". Football Digest 30 (9): 12. June 1, 2001.
- "'Chuckie' agrees to deal with ESPN". Hamilton Spectator. October 18, 2011. p. S2.
- ESPN.com: Gruden agrees to five-year deal with Bucs
- "Moneyball, NFL style". http://blogs.nfl.com. 26 June 2009.
- "Mediocrity Will Not Be Accepted Around Here". The Tampa Tribune. Archived from the original on 2007-04-03. Retrieved 2007-04-04.
- Attner, Paul (2004). "Separation of Powers Key to Long-Term Growth". The Sporting News. Retrieved 2007-10-04.
- "Bucs Fire Jon Gruden, Bruce Allen". The Tampa Tribune. 2009-01-16. Retrieved 2009-01-16.
- Harry, Chris (16 January 2009). "Jon Gruden fired as Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 17 January 2009.
- Sanneh, K. (2011). MONDAY NIGHT LIGHTS. New Yorker, 87(40), 40-45.
- =si_nfl "Jon Gruden replacing Tony Kornheiser on Monday Night Football". SI.com. 2009-05-18.
- "Jon Gruden staying with ESPN". ESPN.Com. ESPN. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
- Jon Gruden Record, Statistics, and Category Ranks - Pro-Football-Reference.com
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