A reader has forwarded to us a link to the State of Tennessee’s real estate assessment database.  And if you click the link and search for land owned by “Gruden” in Jefferson County, you’ll find not one but three parcels registered to a certain Jon Gruden who currently lives in Tampa, Florida.
One piece of property is a 2.16 acre lot in Dandridge, the county seat.  It was purchased in 2005.
The second is a 5.0 acre lot with a McGaha Hollow Road address.  It’s unclear when Gruden bought it; the records show various transactions since 2001, with the most recent in 2006.
 The third is a 16.5 acre lot, also on McGaha Hollow Road.  It appears to be a farm with a fairly small house on it, built in 2001.
None of this means that Gruden is eyeballing a certain high-profile coaching job situated in Knox County, which abuts Jefferson County.  But it demonstrates the depth of the ties that Gruden and his wife have to the area in which she was raised.
And it’s another reason why we interpret Gruden’s less-than-unequivocal explanation of his supposed non-interest in the University of Tennessee job as an attempt to get people not to ask him about the situation so that he can focus on finishing the current football season, at which time all bets will be off.
Unless, of course, Tennessee has hired a new coach by then.
Even if Gruden truly isn’t interested, don’t be surprised if he uses the possibility of leaving to pirate a better deal from the Buccaneers.  Seven years ago, agent Bob LaMonte was widely suspected of floating Gruden’s name for non-NFL positions at schools such as Notre Dame and Ohio State.  (And if anyone doesn’t think Gruden and LaMonte know how to play the leverage game, read this article.)
This time around, neither Gruden nor LaMonte need to do anything to kick-start the engine that, in the end, could very likely put Gruden in a better overall position, whether he stays where he is or goes to Tennessee. 
It’s a time-honored reality of the coaching profession, where a guy’s current employer isn’t necessarily motivated to sweeten the pot unless faced with the prospect of losing the chef.  While traditionally unusual for NFL coaches to use the college game as leverage, the ever-growing salaries of big-time NCAA jobs and the local stature that goes with being the head coach of a major college program has made the high end of the supposedly lower level of the sport more attractive than it ever has been.
In Gruden’s case, the added draw of living and working from his wife’s hometown could be enough to seal the deal.  Or, at a minimum, it’ll be enough to motivate the folks who currently pay him big money to offer him even more to get him to stick around.
Either way, we’re convinced that Gruden and LaMonte are going to play this situation to their benefit.  Frankly, they’d be stupid not to.


  1. First we had the “Chin” was going to replace John Fox because he bought property in North Carolina, Dungy bought a house in Tampa. The property=coaching change average is not good.

  2. Whenever you mention the name Grady or in this case LaMonte, the Sanford and Son theme starts going through my head. Please make it stop. 😉

  3. Oh, God. Please tell me this isn’t going to be like the series of blogs this past summer.
    “There’s a plane going from Hattiesburg to Green Bay!! Favre’s back!!”
    “There’s now a plane going from Green Bay to Hattiesburg!!! Favre’s NOT returning to the Packers!!!”
    “There’s a plane going from Hattiesburg to Green Bay– with a layover in Raleigh, NC!! Favre’s back and he’s brought Bill Cowher with him!!”
    A little creepy. Just a tad bit.

  4. Ever think that maybe he bought a place out there for some of her family to live? Some folks with money do that you know.

  5. so is it easy to recruit kids using 90% cuss words?
    “g*d d*mnit you f*ing little sh*t. what the f* do you f*ing mean that b*tch saban is nicer than me. f* you. you little mother f*ing p*ssy.”

  6. I agree Gruden should use them as leverege. I mean why not? If your skills are in demand at your job wouldn’t you try to get the best deal you can get out of the employer you choose to work for? theres being greedy and then theres being smart. And being smart is using another party’s interest in you to your advantage.

  7. Yeah! Yeah! And, and, and, you know, Gruden also once took a colossal dump in a Speedway near Knoxville and it’s been said that Jon has always had great memories of it. He even tried to show it to his wife, but she wouldn’t come in the men’s room. So that right there is PROOF that Gruden is taking the Tennessee job!
    Come off of it, Mike. There is no way, Gruden is taking that job. I know Jon is not exactly Gandhi when it comes to ethics, but he ain’t no Nicktator either. Besides, he has it so much better in Tampa than he would have it teaching a bunch of 19-year-olds his offense.

  8. So does my father-in-law and he is not going to be the coach of Tennessee. You need more than that to fan the flames of this smoldering rumor.

  9. Maybe he owns the land for vacationing. Knoxville has plenty to do like
    Watch umm…..
    They have a McDonalds.

  10. Um, I not sure how much more clear he can get that he doesn’t want the job, especially after Saban.
    It seems to me, that unless (not short of,I mean as in minimum) he urinates on the state flag of Tenn, renounces the school, and commits arson, no one will believe him.

  11. Give it a rest Florio…
    Kerry Collins owns land north of Charlotte. Does that mean hes coming back to Carolina? Come on…

  12. Let’s stop bashing Florio for posting rumors like this. This is a “rumor mill”, people. Even if this story is part of the vast majority of rumors that are untrue, many of us come to this site for rumors like this. If I wanted the news, I’d watch the news.

  13. I also heard that Gruden bought a Jamaican beef patty while vacationing in Jamaica! One would surely conclude he is now planning to coach the football (soccer) team there! Lawd haf mercy!!!!

  14. I’m not sure what that article about Gruden and his commitment and work ethic have to do with his leverage with TB? And, now since Cadillac is coming back off IR is it safe to dig up some property information around Tampa Bay with Gruden’s name on it? I like the rumor mill but jeeeze this is not US weekly is it?

  15. erpete says:
    November 12th, 2008 at 12:32 pm
    Let’s stop bashing Florio for posting rumors like this. This is a “rumor mill”, people. Even if this story is part of the vast majority of rumors that are untrue, many of us come to this site for rumors like this. If I wanted the news, I’d watch the news.
    It’s not even a rumor it’s him making news out of nothing. When you start and perpetuate rumors like this you open yourself for criticism.
    Without criticism how does one get better at what they are doing? No criticism = degression.

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