Butch Jones promises 'best staff in the country'

Likely to have Cincinnati, UT flavor

Butch Jones addresses members of the media as the University of Tennessee introduced him as the new head football coach during a press conference in the Peyton Manning Locker Room at Neyland Stadium, Friday, Dec. 7, 2012. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Butch Jones addresses members of the media as the University of Tennessee introduced him as the new head football coach during a press conference in the Peyton Manning Locker Room at Neyland Stadium, Friday, Dec. 7, 2012. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Butch Jones introduced as the new head coach of the UT football team

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Butch Jones' first University of Tennessee staff will likely have a Cincinnati flavor with a Tennessee twist.

Jones is certain to bring several members of his former Cincinnati staff with him to UT.

He also said Friday in his introductory news conference that it was "important" to have a UT connection to whom the players can relate.

Jones met with the holdovers from Derek Dooley's staff late Friday afternoon. All of Dooley's assistants were initially retained by athletic director Dave Hart to oversee recruiting.

"I can assure you we will put together the best football staff in the country, not just the Southeastern Conference,'' Jones said, "but the entire country.''

T.J. Weist, Cincinnati's receivers coach and recruiting coordinator, will apparently be on it. That's the report from the Rivals.com outlet in Cincinnati.

"There'll probably be a few individuals that accompany me from the University of Cincinnati," Jones said, "but I can assure we're going to leave no stone unturned to bring the best coaches here to Knoxville.''

Four on-field coaches from Jones' Cincinnati staff followed him from Central Michigan in 2010. They are offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Bajakian, offensive line coach Don Mahoney, special teams/safeties coach Mark Elder and defensive line coach Steve Stripling.

Stripling was designated interim head coach at Cincinnati on Friday. That doesn't necessarily rule him out for eventually joining Jones in Knoxville.

Weist is an Alabama alumnus who played receiver for the Crimson Tide in the mid-1980s. He coached at Western Kentucky eight years before Cincinnati.

Defensive coordinator/linebackers coach John Jancek was at Georgia from 2005-09 under Mark Richt. Tight ends coach Dave Johnson was also at Georgia from 2001-07.

Two ex-Vols for consideration have ties to the glory days of the 1990s.

Jay Graham left South Carolina to come back to coach running backs under Dooley last fall. Tee Martin, the national championship quarterback from 1998, coaches receivers at Southern Cal after spending a couple of years at Kentucky.

"It's really important, too, for our players to understand that there's players who have been there, done that and gone through all these things,'' Jones said. "I'm going to work extremely hard at that component on our staff.''

Asked specifically about Martin, Jones said he's still in the investigative stages of finding good fits.

"Obviously,'' Jones said, "he's a great coach. We all understand what he's meant to this football program.

"Obviously he would be an individual we reach out to, but we're going to reach out to a lot of individuals.''

As for retaining holdovers from Dooley's staff, besides Graham, offensive line coach Sam Pittman and recruiting coordinator Darin Hinshaw are arguably the most viable candidates.

Jones and his Cincinnati staff have only limited recruiting ties in the Southeast. However, the Bearcats' 2012 roster is littered with Floridians.

Two current UT freshmen from Florida, Kenny Bynum and Nathan Peterman, almost ended up at Cincinnati.

"If you can recruit, you can recruit,'' Jones said. "It doesn't matter what school you come from, what area of the country.

"Recruiting is selling. Recruiting is the people business.

"It's important we do have some coaches that know the lay of the land but I really do think if you're a great recruiter you can recruit anywhere because it's all relationship based.''

Getting recruits on campus is only part of the package. Developing them as players is the other.

Jones said he wants his staff to ultimately be great teachers, on and off the field.

"I have a checklist of what I'm looking for,'' he said.

"I want individuals with tremendous character and then I want great teachers. Great teachers in the game of life, great teachers in the game of football.

"There's a difference between teaching and presenting. Anybody can present anything. But we want great teachers and individuals that have a passion to be here at the University of Tennessee.''

---

Related:

Butch Jones biography

Butch Jones' Memorandum of Understanding with Tennessee

Butch Jones press conference transcript

--

Videos

Butch Jones introduced as the new head coach of the UT football team

Dave Hart answers questions about the coaching search and Butch Jones hire

John Adams on the Butch Jones hire

Evan Woodbery on the Butch Jones hire

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Comments » 162

born2ride writes:

I hope Sal Sunseri enjoyed his year in Knoxville.

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

What about Sunseri? I bet he brings in a new defensive coordinator. Hope he does keep Graham and Pittman. Whatever they were doing, it seemed to be working.

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

in response to born2ride:

I hope Sal Sunseri enjoyed his year in Knoxville.

Great minds think alike.

kd45music writes:

The sun has set on Sunseri.

TNFaninFL writes:

Keep Pittman and Jay Graham, bring in Tee Martin then a bunch of Defensive coaches, keep Hinshaw for recruiting continuity this year.

vettefool writes:

I hope we keep Graham and off line coach. guess Chaney may be gone since we may be going to a new offensive system. although I'm not sure we have a quarterback that can run that system now. maybe keep Chaney next year, we will be paying him unless he gets another job.
Tee Martin would be a good addition. whoever we get on def will be a major improvement but we need some players. good players

pingkr62 writes:

This guy will get things done. I'm a huge fan already. G.B.O.!!!

signalcorps writes:

I love this hire,,this team needs a real man to lead them,,this coach is going to get this team back in line,,bray no more chewing the coachs out on the side line,, these men are not going to put up with any phooey from no players,,(understand these players look like adults play like adults truth told they are just kids next step adult hood),, ,,,we have a good team if not for a few player that's taken over the team,,,you have to clean house and get them all or you will have problems ,,,this coach understands this,,,he's everything I asked for in the next coach everything....GO VOLS

volsmith writes:

I like what I read, especially about recruiting. Might end up being a good hire. John Chavis has Tennessee ties, but age could be a factor in not hiring him. I like the way Jones talks in the article.

87and1dad writes:

in response to TNFaninFL:

Keep Pittman and Jay Graham, bring in Tee Martin then a bunch of Defensive coaches, keep Hinshaw for recruiting continuity this year.

Also bring in Trooper Taylor - a known recruiter in the south. Auburn let him go today.

ACWLY writes:

Finally, a ray of hope for the future, looks like Jones just might have been the right choice all along... One thing that stands out to me is how much Coach Jones wanted this job, this is his dream job, that makes me feel VERY confident about our future success. THIS JUST FEELS RIGHT TO ME, so good to throw away those past negative feelings!

signalcorps writes:

in response to TNFaninFL:

Keep Pittman and Jay Graham, bring in Tee Martin then a bunch of Defensive coaches, keep Hinshaw for recruiting continuity this year.

bring in the know it all's at espn take your pick.....hohohohohohohohohohohohohohohohoho

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

Best staff in the country?? Thats a pretty tall order coming from a new coach..Based on his classes at Cinncy he will have to hire some proven SEC heavy hitters..And some coaches that bleed Orange would really help..Lots of people talking about Kevin Steele. Tee Martin should be a priority..Would love to see Lance Thompson come home..Marion Hoby and Dale Jones also come to mind

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to vettefool:

I hope we keep Graham and off line coach. guess Chaney may be gone since we may be going to a new offensive system. although I'm not sure we have a quarterback that can run that system now. maybe keep Chaney next year, we will be paying him unless he gets another job.
Tee Martin would be a good addition. whoever we get on def will be a major improvement but we need some players. good players

They can ship Chaney right back to Purdue

signalcorps writes:

in response to born2ride:

I hope Sal Sunseri enjoyed his year in Knoxville.

YOU will see all new faces....GO VOLS

rb4346 writes:

in response to vettefool:

I hope we keep Graham and off line coach. guess Chaney may be gone since we may be going to a new offensive system. although I'm not sure we have a quarterback that can run that system now. maybe keep Chaney next year, we will be paying him unless he gets another job.
Tee Martin would be a good addition. whoever we get on def will be a major improvement but we need some players. good players

Maybe Peterman can be the quarterback who can run the offense. I have heard he is a good runner as well as a passer. Anyone agree or is it just wishful thinking.

eyewild writes:

If you like or don't like Butch Jones just remember he was excited to be your next coach and if you watch the u-tube video of his locker room speaches and see how fired up he gets you will like the hire way more just like I did. we have not had that fire from a coach since trooper taylor was here.

lemme_axya_this writes:

in response to 87and1dad:

Also bring in Trooper Taylor - a known recruiter in the south. Auburn let him go today.

They let him go because he is suspected of recruiting violations. Auburn already had him under house arrest.

govolsdid writes:

All of Cincis. teams were good on Of. and special teams so I hope Butch can get a really good Def. cord. to get UT back up on def. because in the SEC if you cant play def. you cant win. GO BIG ORANGE

jt45 writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

They can ship Chaney right back to Purdue

I agree, its time to get a OC who knows more than one play plus the wildcat.

clvolfan writes:

in response to born2ride:

I hope Sal Sunseri enjoyed his year in Knoxville.

When CBJ said "he wants coaches who can teach",that leaves Sunseri out-Just ask Fuad Reviez.

jt45 writes:

in response to rb4346:

Maybe Peterman can be the quarterback who can run the offense. I have heard he is a good runner as well as a passer. Anyone agree or is it just wishful thinking.

Dont know if hes ready yet since Ive yet to see this kid, but if he can run out of the pocket every now and then it would be a nice change.
Its ironic that coach Jones recruited Peterman

vol_mania82 writes:

I was poking around on fight on 247 they all seem to think T.Martin is gone, saying he will take the wr/ maybe co/oc job if its offered to him...also saying he has close relationship with jalen ramsey and he'll like follow martin

gold12#1389721 writes:

I am a proud alumus of the University of Cincinnati, and I love my Bearcats. Coach Jones has done a very good job there. I was able to get back this year to the homecoming when we played Miami University. Although, I am from Cincinnati and graduated from UC, I have always been a number ONE fan for my beloved University of Tennessee Volunteers. I think coach Jones will do a great job and bring us (the VolNation) back to respectability and championship contention. Go Vols - Go Big Orange!!!!

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to born2ride:

I hope Sal Sunseri enjoyed his year in Knoxville.

Oh he did I'd say 3 million for that garbage

TheStupidPolice writes:

I hope he can use the resources Hart has given him to go out and put together the best staff. It's going to be a hard sale. And he is going to have to go out and sale himself to coaches because he sure as hell wasn't planning on putting together the best at Colorado or Purdue.

I'm real worried. This wasn't the unifying, exciting hire we wanted. And we need. The brand is dying. You wear the power T outside SEC country and people think you're a Texas fan. They don't recognize it. ESPN is going to have all-access specials of the spring practices at Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Florida, Texas A&M and probably now Arkansas. ESPN will have more commercials with Saban, Miles, Richt and Revelie. Tennessee can't even get a simple score shown on Gameday Final. We want Herbstreit and Blackledge in town, but we're stuck with Ed Cunningham. The brand is fading away while all our biggest rivals are marketing bonanzas.

I'll support Butch Jones. I'll wear my orange everywhere I go and put my blowup Smokey in the yard on Gameday, but let's be real. We're on the verge of a second recession. Considering who our first two opponents are next season, we'll be lucky to have 75K in Neyland for those games. Then we face the worst scheduling nightmare in football history. We have back to back road games at Oregon and at Florida. The Titans wouldn't ask for that. Both those games, with what could be a very depleted roster, have the potential to be absolute disasters. If that does happen, the South Alabama game draws less than 60K. Then comes Georgia, SC and Alabama. Poor ol' Butch Jones might be toast before he even has a chance to get started. The fan base will be HOT!

I think the vast majority of fans were hoping for a coach that was a known commodity. A guy we knew could coach at the highest level, handle the pressure, win big games, recruit, win championships, unify the fan base and grow the brand. Butch Jones isn't that. He's a hope. I don't care what any of you say, you don't know if this guy can do it. You're just hoping. Hell, I'm hoping. But I wanted someone I didn't have to give a chance to. I wanted a guy that I knew would give Tennessee a chance.

I hate to be all doom and gloom. I hope Jones is the next General Neyland. But at this point, this has all the makings of an epic, epic fail.

pcshowtime writes:

You can see how he handles this staff hiring and you will know if he will be here in 3 yrs from now. If he tries to bring in his guys for cincy at OC or does not get Kevin steel caliber DC then he will not be here. He must hire proven SEC Recruiters or he wont be here. Let us set back and see if all these slogans and pump you up pressers are for real or just rah rah BS. I like the hire I did not like how it was done. Good luck Butch Jones. Hart had know choice what man can turn down a BJ.

greenefletcher writes:

We have all heard the rhetoric before....best this best that. The reality is anyone is going to go through a rough couple of years before we see a return to the top. Jones will certainly bring Weist, Bajakan, and Mahoney and some others from Cincy because he is comfortable with them and some of them have SEC coaching experience however they will still have to recruit players from the south where their names are unknown currently. I'm not questioning the guy's ability to coach just the university and the fans ability to support him while he tries to put together a team that can win in the nations' toughest conference.

orange_glory writes:

in response to TheStupidPolice:

I hope he can use the resources Hart has given him to go out and put together the best staff. It's going to be a hard sale. And he is going to have to go out and sale himself to coaches because he sure as hell wasn't planning on putting together the best at Colorado or Purdue.

I'm real worried. This wasn't the unifying, exciting hire we wanted. And we need. The brand is dying. You wear the power T outside SEC country and people think you're a Texas fan. They don't recognize it. ESPN is going to have all-access specials of the spring practices at Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Florida, Texas A&M and probably now Arkansas. ESPN will have more commercials with Saban, Miles, Richt and Revelie. Tennessee can't even get a simple score shown on Gameday Final. We want Herbstreit and Blackledge in town, but we're stuck with Ed Cunningham. The brand is fading away while all our biggest rivals are marketing bonanzas.

I'll support Butch Jones. I'll wear my orange everywhere I go and put my blowup Smokey in the yard on Gameday, but let's be real. We're on the verge of a second recession. Considering who our first two opponents are next season, we'll be lucky to have 75K in Neyland for those games. Then we face the worst scheduling nightmare in football history. We have back to back road games at Oregon and at Florida. The Titans wouldn't ask for that. Both those games, with what could be a very depleted roster, have the potential to be absolute disasters. If that does happen, the South Alabama game draws less than 60K. Then comes Georgia, SC and Alabama. Poor ol' Butch Jones might be toast before he even has a chance to get started. The fan base will be HOT!

I think the vast majority of fans were hoping for a coach that was a known commodity. A guy we knew could coach at the highest level, handle the pressure, win big games, recruit, win championships, unify the fan base and grow the brand. Butch Jones isn't that. He's a hope. I don't care what any of you say, you don't know if this guy can do it. You're just hoping. Hell, I'm hoping. But I wanted someone I didn't have to give a chance to. I wanted a guy that I knew would give Tennessee a chance.

I hate to be all doom and gloom. I hope Jones is the next General Neyland. But at this point, this has all the makings of an epic, epic fail.

winning will change all of our issues

Banner writes:

If they were the best assistants they wouldn't be at Cincinnatti. The big least isn't the SEC.

Vol_Stuck_in_GA writes:

Coach Jones,

Welcome to Tennessee and thank you for taking the position. I respect your right to assemble your staff but if you read this and will listen to a humble fan... PLEASE KEEP JAY GRAHAM!

nocleats writes:

THe best coaching staff in the country would consist of the following qualities
1. They place a higher value on recruiting than they do their own families.
2. They wake up every day with Recruiting as their main reason for living.
3. If forced to choose between visiting their dying grandparent or dropping by to see a 5 star recruit, Grandpa loses.
4. They make every effort to recruit at all times.
5. Every thing they do is aimed at recruiting first. If they must take time to go to church, they should pick one that is attended by a 5 star recruit.
6. They should know NCAA rules concerning recruiting and push them just to the edge.
7. Refuse to loose when recruiting, do whatever it takes.
8 Recruit with a passion.
.
Honestly with most players only sticking around 2 or 3 years, and only having 20 hrs a week, 17 actually to coach them, its about talent. Load up with talent. Out talent the competition!

SummerfieldVol writes:

I would like it if he keeps Graham and Pittman, but let him pick his staff. I am sure he does not need my or your input as to who to keep or who to hire. I just want to know who his Defense Coordinator will be,because we sure did not have one this year. I look for alot of his staff from Cincinatti to join him. He runs pretty much the same offense we run except his QB'S are mobile. Alot more than Tyler Bray. Good thing Tyler is a Senior. He alo runs a 4-3 defense which is designed to stop the run which we could not do this year, as a matter of fact, we did not do anything really good this year on defense, big changes are coming. Nobody has a guaranteed starting job. This the way it should be, play the best player, a freshman or a senior which ever one is the best.

LifetimeVolFan writes:

UT is my dream job too....for $18.2 million, it's most sensible people's dream job. Nonetheless, he's the new coach and I hope he is successful and leads UT back to the top!

tnvol34 writes:

WELCOME COACH JONES! NOW SNAG JON CHAVIS IN! KEEP OUR RECRUITS, GET MORE! AND GBO!!!AND OH! YES, I THINK I WOULD DIS JON CHANEY!

bcm4ut writes:

I am glad the job has been filled, but I must admit I am woefully dissapointed with the hire. I guess we will become a spread team that is three years late to the party. Our players dont fit the spread offense. I defense is poor enough without having to be on the field twice as long. I love smash mouth football. When you tell the D where you are going and you run right through them. That is not a gimmick, that is championship football. How any spread teams have won a title of any importance? None. When will the athletic department learn? Did they do this because A&M beat Al on an off day? My hunch is that they did. Elite college teams are becoming more like pro defenses. The spread attack is easily defended with players like AL and FL put on the field. Anyway the guy seems energetic, and really wanted the job, so we will see. My guess is he will be fired in four to five years and we will be right back where we are today. I think Hart hired the wrong Butch. GBO.

VFLVFLVFL writes:

Why would people say keep our recruiting coordinator???? Didnt anyone read stephan hargis story? Short memories?

orange_eVOLution writes:

in response to TNFaninFL:

Keep Pittman and Jay Graham, bring in Tee Martin then a bunch of Defensive coaches, keep Hinshaw for recruiting continuity this year.

Concur.

smokeybitesback writes:

KEEP JAY GRAHAM, PITTMAN,GET TROOPER AND TEE..REPLACE THE ENTIRE DEFENSIVE STAFF AND HE JUST MIGHT HAVE ONE OF THE BEST COACHING STAFFS

LUPharmD_GBO writes:

Bring TROOP back!

orange_eVOLution writes:

in response to TheStupidPolice:

I hope he can use the resources Hart has given him to go out and put together the best staff. It's going to be a hard sale. And he is going to have to go out and sale himself to coaches because he sure as hell wasn't planning on putting together the best at Colorado or Purdue.

I'm real worried. This wasn't the unifying, exciting hire we wanted. And we need. The brand is dying. You wear the power T outside SEC country and people think you're a Texas fan. They don't recognize it. ESPN is going to have all-access specials of the spring practices at Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Florida, Texas A&M and probably now Arkansas. ESPN will have more commercials with Saban, Miles, Richt and Revelie. Tennessee can't even get a simple score shown on Gameday Final. We want Herbstreit and Blackledge in town, but we're stuck with Ed Cunningham. The brand is fading away while all our biggest rivals are marketing bonanzas.

I'll support Butch Jones. I'll wear my orange everywhere I go and put my blowup Smokey in the yard on Gameday, but let's be real. We're on the verge of a second recession. Considering who our first two opponents are next season, we'll be lucky to have 75K in Neyland for those games. Then we face the worst scheduling nightmare in football history. We have back to back road games at Oregon and at Florida. The Titans wouldn't ask for that. Both those games, with what could be a very depleted roster, have the potential to be absolute disasters. If that does happen, the South Alabama game draws less than 60K. Then comes Georgia, SC and Alabama. Poor ol' Butch Jones might be toast before he even has a chance to get started. The fan base will be HOT!

I think the vast majority of fans were hoping for a coach that was a known commodity. A guy we knew could coach at the highest level, handle the pressure, win big games, recruit, win championships, unify the fan base and grow the brand. Butch Jones isn't that. He's a hope. I don't care what any of you say, you don't know if this guy can do it. You're just hoping. Hell, I'm hoping. But I wanted someone I didn't have to give a chance to. I wanted a guy that I knew would give Tennessee a chance.

I hate to be all doom and gloom. I hope Jones is the next General Neyland. But at this point, this has all the makings of an epic, epic fail.

Your post was a total waste of time, not to mention the wasted wear and tear on your keyboard.

I was pushing for Gruden, but even HE would have come with some risk in the college game.

We'll see who Jones picks as "the best staff in the country".

Volunatic writes:

in response to born2ride:

I hope Sal Sunseri enjoyed his year in Knoxville.

Very hospitable of you.

pcorange writes:

I think Pittman, Graham, and Hinshaw definitely deserve a shot at staying. Demote Sunseri to LB coach and make him stay and earn his money. He was obviously a pretty good LB coach at Bama, he's just not a good DC. If we demoted him, maybe he'd quit on his own and we wouldn't have to pay him the 1.2M.

orange_eVOLution writes:

in response to VFLVFLVFL:

Why would people say keep our recruiting coordinator???? Didnt anyone read stephan hargis story? Short memories?

Link to Hargis story? Thanks.

pcorange writes:

in response to nocleats:

THe best coaching staff in the country would consist of the following qualities
1. They place a higher value on recruiting than they do their own families.
2. They wake up every day with Recruiting as their main reason for living.
3. If forced to choose between visiting their dying grandparent or dropping by to see a 5 star recruit, Grandpa loses.
4. They make every effort to recruit at all times.
5. Every thing they do is aimed at recruiting first. If they must take time to go to church, they should pick one that is attended by a 5 star recruit.
6. They should know NCAA rules concerning recruiting and push them just to the edge.
7. Refuse to loose when recruiting, do whatever it takes.
8 Recruit with a passion.
.
Honestly with most players only sticking around 2 or 3 years, and only having 20 hrs a week, 17 actually to coach them, its about talent. Load up with talent. Out talent the competition!

Sounds like you've got it figured out. You should apply for the job.

greenefletcher writes:

in response to eyewild:

If you like or don't like Butch Jones just remember he was excited to be your next coach and if you watch the u-tube video of his locker room speaches and see how fired up he gets you will like the hire way more just like I did. we have not had that fire from a coach since trooper taylor was here.

He was excited that he is going to get PAID whether he wins or loses. Big contract certainly big buyout when the honeymoon is over. I don't get all the big money for a guy that has no elite coaching experience, they should load the contract based on performance and ranking at the end of the season. No January bowl, no 3 million paycheck. That's incentive to do the work on the field and off (recruiting, academics, mentoring) to make UT football great again. Also, nothing puts out a "fire" like a nice double digit beat down put on you by Florida, Georgia, Alabama, or South Carolina. I'm not putting down the the new coach, just hope he has some humility to get him through the first few years of this "exciting" opportunity that he said yes to.

SignalMtnVol writes:

Only hold-overs should be Pitmann and Graham. Period. And to the people that keep mentioning Trooper Taylor: WTF is wrong with you people?? You never read?

greenefletcher writes:

in response to orange_eVOLution:

Your post was a total waste of time, not to mention the wasted wear and tear on your keyboard.

I was pushing for Gruden, but even HE would have come with some risk in the college game.

We'll see who Jones picks as "the best staff in the country".

Waste of time? You read it and then posted to it. So whose time got wasted? I found it spot on.

TKO writes:

These players deserve a good coach and a solid staff that can help them improve and win. Good luck Coach Jones. Hopefully there is a good secondary coach in your Christmas stocking.

pcorange writes:

I signed up for the free trial of 247 a week or so ago. Reading the posts over there is like a breath of fresh air compared to the nonsense over here on this board. Fans like some of the ones who post here are the very reason we can't get who we want to come coach here. We're damned lucky to have Butch Jones. Instead of acting like a bunch of spoiled rotten little titty-babies, why don't you give him a cotton-picking chance? If he goes off and stinks the joint up three years in a row like Dooley, we'll go back on the hunt. I don't think that is going to happen, though. He has a solid track record. News flash for all you folks that thought Hart should have made a splash hire: no big name coach wants to risk their rep on this job right now. Especially not with a bunch of half-wit fans that want you fired before you've even coached your first game.

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