The Oakland Raiders can breathe easy. Jon Gruden isn't going anywhere ... for the moment.
Gruden, widely regarded as the top candidate to replace fired Notre Dame coach Bob Davie, has removed his name from the list of candidates, just as he did last year with the Ohio State vacancy.
"I've got a job," Gruden said Thursday. "I've tried to say that from the very beginning and I don't want to speculate on any other job, except the job I have. All I can comment on is the Oakland Raiders and that's all I know right now, unfortunately."
Gruden, 38, added that he made his announcement to stop rumors.
"I didn't want to answer any more questions, honestly," he said. "Notre Dame's a great school and I'm sure they're going to have a great coach and do great things. I'll be rooting for them. I've always been a Notre Dame fan. I always will be."
Said his agent, Bob LaMonte, "In less than a year, he has turned down two of the greatest jobs in America where he clearly was the citizens' choice."
The pressure is on the Raiders to re-sign Gruden, who has a season remaining on the deal he first signed in 1998. He will earn $1.2 million this season--his first year over $1 million--and could as much as quadruple that with his next contract.
Steve Mariucci, coach of the San Francisco 49ers, also pulled his name from contention for the Notre Dame job this week, as did Oregon's Mike Bellotti and Oklahoma's Bob Stoops.
Notre Dame requested and received permission to interview Stanford Coach Tyrone Willingham, and also is interested in Jacksonville Coach Tom Coughlin.