Wishful Thinking: Jon Gruden

If I could pick who the next coach of the Miami Hurricanes would be, I would choose Jon Gruden.

Jon Gruden, 43, is an energetic coach, who college kids would love to play for.

Gruden is currently the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but could be on his way out as the team fell to 3-9 on the season with a loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday.

To make things worse, only two NFL teams--Detroit and Oakland--have worse records than the Buccaneers.

Gruden became the youngest head coach to ever win the Super Bowl when he guided the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl victory in 2002 during his first year with Tampa Bay.

He never received all of the credit he deserved because many people believe he benefitted heavily from former Buccaneers coach Tony Dungy, who built a strong defense for Gruden.

After posting a 12-20 record in the two seasons following the Super Bowl, Gruden's doubters had more support for their claims.

Last season, the Buccaneers made the playoffs for the first time since the Super Bowl, but they have already been eliminated this year.

However, Gruden would be an excellent choice to revive the Miami Hurricanes program if given the opportunity.

His name recognition would bring in plenty of recruits as well as credentials. He has a wealth of expertise with the West Coast offense after coaching under George Siefert with the San Francisco 49ers to begin his professional coaching career.

Gruden has also coached under Mike Holmgren and Ray Rhodes before being named the head coach of the Oakland Raiders in 1998.

There would be no doubt that UM would return to where they should be--a consistent top-five program competing for national titles.

USC turned to an NFL coach in Pete Carroll and has been very successful.

Notre Dame is right back in the mix with Charlie Weis at the helm, also from the NFL ranks.

Why not Miami?

I don't care how much money it takes, if Jon Gruden shows interest in the UM position, athletic director Paul Dee must put him high on the list.

Greg Schiano is a nice choice and has done remarkable things with the Rutgers program.

A number of players, past and present, would like to see Randy Shannon as the head coach.

Those two are fine choices, but not on the level of a Jon Gruden.

Gruden and his wife Cindy have three sons. His brother Jay is the head coach of the Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League. Jay would be a great choice to be the quarterbacks coach if Jon got the job.

It is wishful thinking, but if Gruden got the job there is no doubt Miami would return to the top, which is something we all want...

Regardless of who the coach is.

Christopher Stock can be reached at stock@canestime.com

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