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Gruden officially states he has no interest in ND job

Matt Lozar | Thursday, December 2, 2004

The man who was on top of many people’s wish lists in 2001 to replace departed coach Bob Davie has said he isn’t in the running to replace recently fired Irish coach Tyrone Willingham.Jon Gruden addressed the media Wednesday afternoon after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ practice about the Notre Dame coaching situation.”I love Notre Dame. I went to high school there. My dad coached Joe Montana and Vagas Ferguson there,” Gruden said. “I’m not a candidate for that job. I’ve got the best job in football, and I’ve got to work hard to keep it. I wish Notre Dame well, I’ll always be a big fan, but I guarantee I’m not candidate for that job.”When asked about the situation in South Bend concerning the recent struggles of the football program, Gruden deferred to the former Notre Dame football players on his current Tampa Bay roster. “You’d have to ask Tim Brown or Sean Mahan. They know a little bit more about the recent ups and downs at Notre Dame,” Gruden said. “But I’m here to talk about the Bucs, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.”Gruden has a career 66-48 record and is in his third season in Tampa Bay. He was a head coach for four seasons with the Oakland Raiders. In his first year in Tampa Bay, Gruden led the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl title.