It’s official: Raiders announce hiring of Jon Gruden as coach

SHARE It’s official: Raiders announce hiring of Jon Gruden as coach
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Jon Gruden has agreed to a 10-year, $100 million contract to become the Oakland Raiders new head coach. | Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Oakland Raiders have officially hired Jon Gruden as their coach.

The team announced the move Saturday as soon as Gruden finished his final broadcast as an announcer for ESPN. Gruden will be formally introduced at a news conference Tuesday.

Gruden is returning for a second stint as coach of the Raiders after being traded to Tampa Bay following the 2001 season. He led the Buccaneers to the Super Bowl title over Oakland the following season. He has been out of coaching since being fired by Tampa Bay after the 2008 season.

The Raiders fired Jack Del Rio following the end of a disappointing six-win season. Oakland won 12 games in 2016 to earn Del Rio a four-year extension but the team fell flat this season.

The offense regressed after the decision to fire coordinator Bill Musgrave and replace him with untested Todd Downing. The defense struggled mightily before a late-season switch from fired coordinator Ken Norton Jr. to play-caller John Pagano.

That led to the decision to fire Del Rio following his third season and go hard after Gruden, who reportedly will get a 10-year contract worth an estimated $100 million.

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.

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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