Raiders to announce Jon Gruden hiring next Tuesday
ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Oakland Raiders are set to bring Jon Gruden back for a second stint as coach.
A person with knowledge of the team’s plans said the Raiders are planning a news conference Tuesday to announce that Gruden is leaving the broadcast booth to come back to coaching. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Friday because the team has made no formal announcement.
The Raiders fired Jack Del Rio following a disappointing six-win season and talk immediately turned to Gruden. Gruden spent four years as coach for the Raiders before being dealt to Tampa Bay, where he beat Oakland in the Super Bowl following his first season in 2002.
Gruden has been out of coaching for nine years while serving as the lead analyst for ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” telecast.
The news conference was first reported by the Raiders Snake Pit website.
ESPN reported that Gruden will receive a 10-year deal that will be the longest coaching contract in NFL history and could be worth close to $100 million. Gruden has already started putting together a staff with Cincinnati defensive coordinator Paul Guenther among those expected to join.
Gruden told ESPN earlier this week that he had a good talk with Raiders owner Mark Davis about returning to the organization and believed there was a “good chance” it would happen.
Gruden is scheduled to work the network’s playoff game Saturday in Kansas City between the Chiefs and Tennessee Titans.
Gruden spent four seasons as coach in Oakland from 1998-2001. After leading the Raiders to 8-8 records his first two years, Gruden helped the team reach the AFC title game following the 2000 season and got Oakland back into the playoffs the following season.
His tenure ended shortly after the “Tuck Rule” loss to the New England Patriots when he was traded the following month to Tampa Bay for two first-round draft picks, two second-rounders and $8 million.
Gruden beat the Raiders in the Super Bowl in his first season with the Buccaneers but didn’t win another playoff game for Tampa Bay in his final six seasons. He has a 95-81 career record.
The Raiders have complied with the “Rooney Rule” and interviewed minority candidates for the job, according to NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart.
“I can tell you we believe the Rooney Rule was complied with,” Lockhart said. “Minority candidates were interviewed and we will wait and see the decision they make.”
This would not mark the first time the Raiders brought back a coach for a second stint. Late owner Al Davis hired Art Shell in 2006, 11 years after firing him the first time. Shell went 2-14 that season and was fired after one year.
Other teams have also done it, with one of the most recent notable coaching hires being Joe Gibbs in Washington. Gibbs stepped away following the 1992 season with three Super Bowl titles in his career. He came back in 2004 and had a 30-34 record in four seasons, leading Washington to two playoff berths.
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