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Jon Gruden Says He’s Committed to ESPN, Spurning Miami Interest

Dec. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Jon Gruden said he is staying in his role as a television analyst for ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” ending any chance that the Super Bowl-winning coach would leave to lead the University of Miami.

“I’m committed to ESPN,” Gruden said on a conference call with reporters. “I’m very thankful to have the job that I have and I’m eager to try and get better at it.”

Miami, a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, had expressed interest in hiring Gruden following the Nov. 27 firing of Randy Shannon as coach.

“Jon’s contract with ESPN runs through the 2011 season, he’s made a commitment to us, and in the contract there’s a commitment to us,” Norby Williamson, an executive vice president for Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN, said on the conference call. “He won’t be having any conversations to entertain a college or pro offer through the 2011 season.”

Both Gruden and Williamson said they’d take no further questions on the subject.

Candidates remaining on Miami’s list include Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen, Stanford’s Jim Harbaugh, Connecticut’s Randy Edsall, Arizona’s Mike Stoops and Utah’s Kyle Whittingham, the Miami Herald reported.

Gruden, 47, has spent the past two years as a National Football League analyst on “Monday Night Football.”

He had a 98-81 record as an NFL coach and led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl title during the 2002 season, his first year with the team after replacing Tony Dungy. Known for his intensity on the sidelines, Gruden also coached the Oakland Raiders for four seasons, going 40-28.

College Coaches

Although Gruden’s last college coaching experience was as an assistant at the University of Pittsburgh in 1991, he would have brought a championship resume to Miami, which won the most recent of its five national titles in 2001. The Hurricanes’ last two coaches -- Shannon and Larry Coker -- were promoted from coordinator jobs and the Herald said some trustees were wary of again following that route.

Shannon, 44, was fired after the Hurricanes lost to the University of South Florida to finish with a 7-5 record, bringing his record to 28-22 in four seasons. A member of the Hurricanes’ 1987 national championship team, Shannon’s .560 winning percentage was the worst by any Miami coach since Lou Saban went 9-13 in 1977-78. Shannon was 0-2 in bowl games.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mason Levinson in New York at mlevinson@bloomberg.net; Erik Matuszewski in New York at matuszewski@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net.

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