MVP Sports Channel

Read & Recognition: Gruden Breaks It Down

We all set lofty goals for ourselves.  Sometimes they are simply dreams or thoughts, but when you actually work for the thing you want, it’s considered a goal.

The (lofty) goal at the University of Tennessee was to hire Jon Gruden as its head football coach.  Trust me, athletic director Dave Hart tried.  Although, probably not as hard as most thought.

As I was initially preparing to share my article this morning, word came from a variety of sources, Gruden has officially said no thanks to Tennessee’s offer.

GrudenGruden was the perfect man for the head coaching job at UT in the eyes of the majority of the Big Orange fan base, the athletic department and from a public relations standpoint.  He is nationally recognized, would have had top recruits lining up, has ties to UT and the Knoxville area, but most importantly, has a proven track record at a professional level with a Super Bowl ring to prove it.

The school hoped to wash away the past couple of misses with a huge hit.  Gruden would have definitely been a bull’s eye.  Immediately, Tennessee football would be relevant again.

Now, the Vols have to revert to Plan B.  What’s that you ask? Or more accurately, who is Plan B?  We can start filling in the blanks with names like Jimbo Fisher, Charlie Strong, and Gary Patterson.  No one knows who it will be, not even Hart at this time.  I’m quite sure he does have a contingency plan.

Most likely, starting today Joe B. Fan (B. stands for Big Orange) will have an emotional, Gruden hangover for a few weeks as the search continues to the next phase.  Any good investment strategist will tell you, the first thing you should know about investing is to remove your emotions from decision making.

Yes, this is the true reason America is broke.  We spend based on emotional purchasing decisions.  Most women can certainly explain the benefits of “retail therapy”.  It’s the same reason men buy RVs or bass boats, but don’t take time to camp or fish.  Feels good at the time?  Yes!  Smart buying decision?  No!

The good news for those emotionally invested in UT; there are options which are just as good, or maybe better in the long haul.  Did Dave Hart feel he could get better long term value going in another direction?

The fact is Gruden knows the pros.  He is a great evaluator of talent at the college level, but has never been a head coach at the college level.  Financially speaking, he’s the equivalent to the dot com or real estate boom from a few years ago.  Investing in Gruden stock would surely pay big dividends for a lot of years, but had potential to be a big bust.  High risk, high reward is great …when it works.

Some of the other names, however, are more like mutual funds.  They aren’t that flashy, sexy or trendy, but are tried and true.  The point is, they get results and help you get to your financial goal at retirement.

GrudenIn this case, a Charlie Strong Fund, wouldn’t be a bad investment.  The track record shows a solid, consistent, upward trending fund with long term growth potential.  (These type decisions make the manager of your portfolio look like a genius.)

Strong has now been a successful head coach at Louisville, a program which needed a huge turn around.  His win over Rutgers makes his team attractive for a major bowl bid.  His days as a defensive coordinator at Florida, gives him SEC experience.  Don’t overlook the fact; an African American head coach at an SEC school gives him an advantage.  Yes, I said advantage.

EVERYTHING matters when your long term future is at stake.  All factors play an important part of the end result over time.  Don’t believe me?  Just ask Arkansas fans about Bobby Petrino.  Everything matters.

Strong isn’t the only option, of course.  Neither was Gruden.  That’s the good news.

The reality of setting your goals high is sometimes you fall short.  That’s not a negative.  It means you set the bar high, had great expectations and gave it an honest try.  Apparently, UT isn’t prepared to just settle and still has high hopes. You didn’t look for the next Derek Dooley.

Tennessee, and the fans, have the same national championship goals, but must realize there are other ways to get there.  Way to go Tennessee!  Hart also didn’t overspend in a high risk stock.  Now you’ve adjusted to what is in front of you, considered the variables and it’s time to make an even better, educated decision.

Here’s where a good quarterback forgets the last play, breaks the huddle, checks at the line of scrimmage, assesses the defense, maybe calls an audible based on the defensive formation and executes the next play.  Forgetting an unsuccessful play prior to running the next is always important for success in reaching the ultimate goal.

That’s how Jon Gruden would break it down on film.


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