Dec 19 2013, 4:59pm CST | by Poch de la Rosa
"Orangebloods.com has learned through a high-level source that former Super Bowl champion coach Jon Gruden is open to hearing from the Texas athletic department about its football head coaching vacancy.
"Over the last few years, Gruden's name has often been mentioned in high-profile coaching openings at both the NFL and NCAA level. And he has received 'feelers' from numerous major programs and clubs that have gone unreported.
"Although Gruden has flourished in broadcasting with ESPN, our source said the Texas job is one of the few offers that Gruden would consider, claiming that the Super Bowl-winning coach views the position as one of the few 'premiere' coaching jobs.
"The source said Texas was on this very short list because of the city of Austin, the situation and 'just the overall fit.' Gruden's obvious experience and comfort with the media would be an asset to the Longhorn Network. His coaching skills, work ethic and over-reaching leadership accolades need no real support or backing up."
According to WTAE ABC 4 of Pittsburgh, other candidates for the Longhorns head coaching job include Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, Vanderbilt Commodores head coach James Franklin and UCLA Bruins head coach Jim Mora.
On the other hand, Graham Watson of Yahoo! Sports wrote on Dec. 17 that Louisville Cardinals mentor Charlie Strong is the Las Vegas betting favorite with a 2/1 odds to snag the Texas head coaching job.
Former Longhorns head football coach Mack Brown stepped down from his post on Dec. 14 after 15 years at the helm and a national championship in 2005, per The Associated Press.He will still coach the team when it takes on the Oregon Ducks at the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30.
The same report also says he is one of the highest-paid football coaches in the nation at $5.4 million per annum.
Gruden was also previously rumored to be on the NFL's Houston Texans' short list for their own head coaching vacancy after Gary Kubiak was fired on Dec. 6. Two days later, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported he "will remain at ESPN through at least the 2014 season."
Gruden said back then his job as ESPN football analyst is his main focus.
"I'm just trying to do my job. I'm not going to address every little rumor or supposed conversation that takes place, according to these so-called sources.
"There are a lot of good coaches out there available to coach these teams. I'm just hoping ESPN likes the job I'm doing. That's my focus."
His ESPN bio states he was hired by the network on 2009 "as an analyst for Monday Night Football." Gruden also provides key football analysis for several events, including the Super Bowl and NFL Draft.
In addition, he has also called several college football games such as the 2010 Rose Bowl and 2010 and 2011 BCS Championship Games.
Gruden holds the distinction of being one of the youngest NFL head coaches to win the Super Bowl when he accomplished the feat at the age of 39 in 2003 when his Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat his former team, the Oakland Raiders, 48-21.
His pro football coaching record, which he built with stints with the Raiders and Buccaneers, stands at 95-81 (.540).
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
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