Former Flyer Jon Gruden inducted into Buccaneers’ Ring of Honor

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Former Flyer Jon Gruden inducted into Buccaneers’ Ring of Honor

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MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
ESPN Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden makes a point. Gruden presented donation checks and equipment generated by DICK’S Sporting Goods and the DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation “Sports Matter” to 10 area high school football programs at Dick’s at The Mall at Fairfield Commons in 2014. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

The University of Dayton’s most famous third-string quarterback continues to make a mark on football’s grandest stage.

Jon Gruden, who guided Tampa Bay to its only Super Bowl win, was inducted into the Buccaneers’ Ring of Honor during halftime of Monday night’s 24-21 loss to Atlanta. Gruden took time out from his position as the ESPN color analyst on the Monday Night Football telecast to accept the honor.

After purchasing Gruden from the Raiders for draft picks and cash, he led the Buccaneers to a 48-21 defeat of the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII to complete the 2002 season. At 39 years old, he was the youngest head coach to ever win the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

That success was fleeting; Tampa Bay was 0-2 in two more playoff seasons under Gruden and he was fired after the 2008 season.

Since then he has been a popular face of the NFL as everything but a coach. His series on ESPN in which he huddles with top collegiate quarterbacks who will be high NFL draft choices is must-see viewing for fans and NFL executives. He’s acknowledged as one of the best NFL analysts and often is linked to head coach openings, including the New York Giants and the University of Tennessee most recently.

Colorful and insightful, Gruden is especially popular with fans. His easy-going manner and home-spun charm is accented by boyish features and a signature snarl that resembles the lead character in the “Chucky” horror film series.

Gruden’s brother, Jay Gruden, is the Washington Redskins head coach. Joey Gruden, Jay’s son and Jon’s nephew, is a senior on UD’s basketball team.

A Sandusky native, Jon Gruden transferred to UD after attending Muskingum College. He lettered three seasons with the Flyers as a backup QB for then-coach Mike Kelly and graduated with a communications degree in 1985.

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