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Monday, February 14, 2011
Jerry Gray statement after leaving Texas

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Departed Longhorns defensive backs coach Jerry Gray released a statement on Monday afternoon, two days after announcing his plans to become the Tennessee Titans' defensive coordinator.

Gray took the job in mid-January, but left less than a month later.

Duane Akina, who Gray replaced, plans to return to Texas to replace Gray.

Here's what he had to say, presumably in response to a report over the weekend:
"This was the hardest decision I've ever had to make, and I want to thank Coach Brown, DeLoss Dodds and everyone at Texas for all of their support during the process. There's no way I could have ever imagined that two jobs that mean so much to me would come up at the same time. Working for Coach Brown and Texas, and Mike (Munchak) and the Titans are opportunities of a lifetime. At the end of the day, a defensive coordinator's job with Mike and in the NFL was just too much to pass up.

"That said, there has been some misinformation out there that I do want to clarify. Money had nothing to do with this. I wouldn't have come to Texas if that was an issue, and I wasn't at all concerned about what anyone else was making. I wanted to be at Texas and there's no reason I left other than a great job opportunity, period. I hope the fans and everyone at Texas can understand and appreciate my decision and realize how difficult it was.

"I have a great relationship with Coach Brown and the Texas football program and am excited about their future. I had some really good conversations with Coach Brown before I left and appreciate all of his support. We will remain friends and supporters of one another. I texted every one of the players when I made the decision and encouraged them to keep working hard and continue the great things they're doing to get ready for the season. This is a program with outstanding kids and coaches and they're going to have a lot of success, and that made the decision even tougher. I'll be in Tennessee, but I'll still be pulling for the Longhorns as hard as I ever have."