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ESPN Reporting Tennessee Coach Butch Jones Fired After Blowout Loss

13 November, 2017, 01:54 | Author: Greg Wolfe
  • LSU's next opponent, Tennessee, fires its head coach: report

What Does Tennessee Owe Butch Jones?

John Currie is in his first year as Tennessee's athletic director, and sources told ESPN that his preference was to give Jones more time and not have to make a move so soon. The Vols lost to Kentucky two weeks ago and Jones was able to keep his job temporarily by bouncing back with a win over Southern Mississippi, but Saturday's embarrassing 50-17 loss to Missouri was the nail in the coffin.

Jones, hired at Tennessee on December 7, 2012, as the Vols' 24 head coach, after winning four conference championships in his previous six years, and his staff have done a terrific job recruiting players to Tennessee, but the development of many has been widely considered sub-par. Former Michigan coach Brady Hoke, a recent addition to Jones' staff, has been named the interim coach.

"An exhaustive search is underway for a person of the highest integrity and character with the skills and vision to propel Tennessee to championships", Currie said. We want Coach Jones and his family to be treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve. But with fan apathy growing and the reality that hanging onto Jones any longer would only make the situation worse, Currie made the decision to cut ties with Jones with regular-season games remaining.

Jones was under contract through February 28, 2021. The Vols were just 5-15 under Jones against AP-ranked opponents and 3-12 against Alabama, Florida and Georgia, their three biggest annual rivals.

Tennessee was not expected to win the SEC East, but they were projected to be competitive in the division with Georgia and Florida.

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The Vols were not only unable to improve or hold serve on the results of the past two seasons, but took a major step back this year. He's put together three consecutive winning seasons and bowl game victories.

No matter how things go from here this season, Hoke is not a serious candidate to be the permanent head coach at Tennessee.

"I have tremendous respect for Coach Jones and for (Jones' wife) Barb", Currie said.

Jones was head coach at Central Michigan for three years and Cincinnati for three, both times following Brian Kelly, before coming to Tennessee to replace disgraced Derek Dooley, who was 16-21 in three years UT.

However, Jones did help produce nine National Football League draft picks during his Tennessee tenure and his players collected 18 All-SEC awards and 108 received SEC Academic Honor Roll honors.

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