Jon Gruden’s UT Cheerleader Wife Getting Stink Eye From Smokey

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Will Jon Gruden end up at Arkansas? Will Jon Gruden be the next coach at Tennessee? Will Jon Gruden stay at ESPN and keep saying things like “I think this Terrelle Pryor kid has a bright future in the league?”

Things are getting so crazy in the SEC coaching wars that even TV stations are using a Cindy Gruden Tennessee cheerleading photo (above) to reflect the fact that Jon has ties to the program.

Let’s go back to a 2001 San Francisco Chronicle story on the couple and how they met at Tennessee.

But there was something about that Gruden guy. Cindy was a graduate student at Tennessee, past her days as a college cheerleader, when she met Jon, who was scratching along on the fringes of the Tennessee football program.

“He was a gofer,” Cindy says today. “I know I was amazed at all the parking tickets he had at Tennessee. The coaches would send him down to The Strip (Knoxville’s main drag) to get something to eat for everybody, and of course parking was just terrible, so he’d just get a place and get a ticket. I don’t know if he ever paid all those tickets.”

That’s it, he’s taking the Tennessee job.

But there’s more to the story. Did Cindy like Tennessee?

It isn’t a life for everyone, but there was a time when Cindy Gruden lived in the hills near Knoxville. Her family had lived in the area for generations and it seemed entirely possible that she would too.

“It used to make me crazy, it was so quiet,” she said. “Then I met Jon and there was no more of that.”

Wait, so she didn’t really like Tennessee?

No way he takes the job.

Wait, Twitter says there are rumblings Gruden is in.

Sidenote: How did Gruden meet Cindy at UT?

When the son of Vols coach Johnny Majors broke up with his girlfriend, a Tennessee cheerleader, Gruden moved in for the kill. Cindy Brooks never dated again.

He’s totally going back to Tennessee. Way too many memories. Sorry, Arkansas.

 

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