It doesn't look as though fans will be seeing Jon Gruden stalking the sidelines as an NFL head coach any time soon.
Gruden has agreed to a five-year extension with ESPN to continue as an analyst on "Monday Night Football," the sports network announced in a press release on Monday. The new deal begins in September 2012.
Gruden joined ESPN after being fired as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after a 9-7 season in 2008 that saw the Bucs lost their final four games and miss the playoffs. He joined ESPN in May 2009.
Since then he has teamed with play-by-play commentator Mike Tirico and analyst Ron Jaworski on "Monday Night Football," earning two Sports Emmy Award nominations in the process.
"Our 'Monday Night Football' crew is special, and to have the opportunity to continue to be a part of this team, working these big-time NFL prime time games every week on ESPN, I’m fired up," said Gruden in the press release.
Gruden has been back to the Buccaneers home field, Tampa's Raymond James Stadium as an ESPN analyst twice, for the Outback Bowl in 2011 and for this season's "Monday Night Football" game between the Bucs and the Indianapolis Colts on Oct. 3.
Gruden also has contributed to ESPN’s annual NFL Draft and Super Bowl week coverage, as well as the popular "QB Camp" segments on SportsCenter. Those interviews and film sessions have featured Gruden mentoring top quarterback prospects such as first-round NFL Draft picks Sam Bradford, Cam Newton, and Tim Tebow.
In addition to his NFL role, Gruden has called some college football telecasts for ESPN, including the Rose Bowl (2010) and Bowl Championship Series national championship games (2010 and 2011) for ESPN Radio, and the 2011 Outback and Orange bowl games.
Norby Williamson, ESPN's executive vice president of production, praised Gruden's work on camera.
“Jon has made a remarkable transition from Super Bowl-winning head coach to one of the premier football analysts in our business," Williamson said in the release. "His long-term commitment to ESPN will continue to elevate our 'Monday Night Football' presentation and we look forward to finding even more opportunities to take advantage of his passion for football and unique insights into the game.”
Gruden served as an NFL head coach for 11 seasons with the Oakland Raiders (1998-2001) and Tampa Bay (2002-08). He compiled a career record of 100-85 and led his teams to five division titles.
Gruden’s best season was his first in Tampa Bay in 2002, when the Bucs finished the regular season 12-4 and won Super Bowl XXXVII with a 48-21 victory over the Raiders, the team he had coached the year before.
“Jon is a rare individual who has been successful at everything he has done, going from one of the youngest coaches to win a Super Bowl to reinventing himself with this new broadcasting career in his 40s," his agent, Bob LaMonte, said in the press release. "He has an unmistakable enthusiasm for football that will continue to entertain fans on ESPN.”
Tampa Bay Buccaneers