UFL's Florida Tuskers hire Jay Gruden

Jon Gruden hasn’t (yet) left the Monday Night Football booth for a return to the sideline. But his brother just took a head-coaching job.

Jay Gruden was introduced today as head coach of the Florida Tuskers. In 2009 (the UFL’s first season), Gruden was the Tuskers’ offensive coordinator, and he’s now been promoted to replace Jim Haslett, who left the Tuskers to become the Washington Redskins’ defensive coordinator.

“I am honored to take on the role of head coach of the Florida Tuskers and grateful to the UFL for this opportunity,” Gruden said in the UFL’s press release announcing the hiring. “Our first season was a great success. Coach Haslett created a solid foundation that the team can continue to build upon. I am proud of the way Orlando has embraced the Tuskers’ dedicated players and coaches and I am excited to get to work preparing for season two.”

The Tuskers went 6-0 in the UFL’s inaugural season but lost in the championship game. Quarterback Brooks Bollinger, running Gruden’s offense, was the league’s player of the year.

Gruden has previously served as head coach of the Arena League’s Orlando Predators, and as an assistant to his brother with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

8 responses to “UFL's Florida Tuskers hire Jay Gruden

  1. “The Tuskers went 6-0 in the UFL’s inaugural season but lost in the championship game.”
    Was Tim Brady playing qb?

  2. Why don’t these guys have their season start March 1st and play in southern venues? Then their players would have a better chance of getting invited to NFL summer camps. Plus football fans would at least have something to watch…

  3. A great, great hire. He’s a great brother and Jon and Jay had a great time growing up. They had great parents and it’s all great. This is great news for the Tuskers.

  4. Says Jon Gruden
    “This was just a GREAT hire. He’s a GREAT guy with a HUGE ENTHUSIASM for game. I LOVE the fact they did this. It just shows what truly GREAT guys are running that organization. I’m REALLY EXCITED about this and I know a lot of people feel the same as me.”

  5. this guy is not a bad coach…but why does he continue to dabble in the minor leagues?….I honestly think he is better than little Johnny because he played at a higher level and understands players .

  6. edgo: I agree fully. The UFL could have a place if they played in the spring. The NFL ran a league in Europe for years, then decided they couldn’t run a league in the U.S. in the spring. I would contract with colleges using turf, to keep costs down. Larger cities with college football teams. Columbus, Ohio comes to mind. The UFL could very well fit in there. But…no….
    I think it’s part of the “pull in the money’ for the CBA, but the freakin’ NFL off season is nearly 7 months, and bad football is better than no football, no?

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