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TIMELINE: Jon Gruden's rise from obscurity to Super Bowl coach

FootballTampa Bay BuccaneersSuper BowlManagement ChangeNational Football Conference

2002

Feb. 19: Sometime around 3 a.m. PST, Bucs Executive Vice Presidents Joel and Bryan Glazer finalize a deal with Oakland owner Al Davis to get Gruden out of the final year of a contract with the Raiders. The cost is two first-round picks, two second-round picks and $8 million.

Feb. 20: Gruden, 38, is introduced as the seventh coach in Bucs history.

July 28: An estimated 2,000 fans show up at Disney's Wide World of Sports to see Coach Jon Gruden's first training practice -- and the team's first in Central Florida.

Sept. 15: A week after losing his debut at home in overtime against New Orleans, Gruden gets his first Tampa Bay win as the Bucs smash the Baltimore Ravens 25-0.

Dec. 19: Martin Gramatica kicks five field goals in a 15-0 shutout of the Chicago Bears at Champaign, Ill., securing a bye week for the NFC South Division champ Bucs.

2003

Jan. 12: The Bucs force five turnovers and rout the San Francisco 49ers 35-6 to advance to the NFC Championship Game for only the third time in team history.

Jan. 19: Playing sub-freezing temperatures and in the final game of Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium, Gruden leads the Bucs to a 27-10 defeat of the Eagles for the franchise's first berth in a Super Bowl. "This is the greatest day of my life," Gruden says.

Jan. 26: Tampa Bay's top-ranked defense forces Oakland MVP Rich Gannon into five interceptions as the Bucs obliterate the Raiders 48-21 to Super Bowl XXXVII.

March 24: Two months after winning the Super Bowl, rumors begin to fly at the NFL meetings in Arizona that Gruden and General Manager Rich McKay won't make it through another season.

Dec. 15: With the defending champion Bucs' playoff hopes on life support, McKay resigns and take the job as GM and president of the Atlanta Falcons. Six days later, the Falcons beat the Bucs at Raymond James Stadium, eliminating them from postseason contention.

2004

Jan. 9: Bruce Allen, former senior assistant with the Raiders, is named Bucs general manager.

2005

Jan. 2: The Bucs end the '04 season with a 12-7 loss at Arizona. The 5-11 record marks the team's worst since 1993.

Nov. 13: In arguably his finest moment since the Super Bowl, Gruden opts to go for a two-point conversion -- trailing Washington by one point with just under a minute to go -- and Mike Alstott slams across the goal line for a pulsating 36-35 victory.

2006

Jan. 1:Tampa Bay defeats New Orleans 27-13 before a raucous home crowd to win the NFC South Division on the final day of the season.

Jan. 7: Turnovers lead to two early scores and the Bucs disappoint a crazed Raymond James Stadium with a 17-10 loss to the Redskins in the wild-card round.

Sept. 24: Starting QB Chris Simms ruptures his spleen yet finishes a 26-24 home loss to Carolina, the third leg of an 0-4 start. The starting quarterback during the team's run to a division title the year before, Simms will never throw another pass in a regular-season game for the Bucs.

Dec. 31: A listless 23-7 home loss to Seattle ends the '06 season at 4-12, the franchise's worst record since going 3-13 in 1991.

2007

Dec. 16: Tampa Bay's 37-3 defeat of Atlanta clinches the team's second NFC South title in three seasons, with two games to play. Gruden opts to rest most of his starters for the balance of the season.

2008

Jan. 6: The New York Giants, who clinched a playoff spot early and did not rest players, come to Tampa and beat the Bucs 24-14, fueling their run to a Super Bowl title.

Dec. 28: Needing a win and a Dallas loss at Philly to reach the playoffs, the Bucs fall to the 4-11 Oakland Raiders and lose 31-24, their fourth straight loss to end the season.with a 9-7 record. Dallas loses, too.

2009

Jan. 16: Gruden and Allen are fired.

May: ESPN hires Gruden to serve as analyst for Monday Night Football

November: After his name was linked to vancancies at Tennessee and Notre Dame, Gruden signs a multiyear extension with ESPN.

2010

Nov. 28: Randy Shannon is fired as head coach of the Miami Hurricanes after a loss to South Florida. Gruden's name immediately surfaces as a possible replacement.

Nov. 29: Gruden issues a statement through ESPN: "I am committed to Monday Night Football and to ESPN. I enjoy working w/ Mike, Jaws and our entire crew and am just trying to get better at this job."

Nov. 30: The Sun Sentinel and other media outlets report that Gruden remains UM's top choice.

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