Cincinnati AD: Dave Hart was 'first class' throughout process

FILE - In this Oct. 13, 2012, file photo, Cincinnati head coach Butch Jones, left, slaps hands with his players as they run off the field after scoring a touchdown in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Fordham in Cincinnati. The bowl-bound Bearcats wait to hear from coach Jones about whether he'll stay or head off to either Purdue or Colorado. (AP Photo/Al Behrman, File)

FILE - In this Oct. 13, 2012, file photo, Cincinnati head coach Butch Jones, left, slaps hands with his players as they run off the field after scoring a touchdown in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Fordham in Cincinnati. The bowl-bound Bearcats wait to hear from coach Jones about whether he'll stay or head off to either Purdue or Colorado. (AP Photo/Al Behrman, File)

Do you believe Butch Jones is the right choice to be UT's coach?

See the results »

View previous polls »

Early Thursday morning, Cincinnati athletic director Whit Babcock drove down the street to his neighbor and head football coach, Butch Jones.

He needed an answer from Jones about whether he was accepting a lucrative offer to become the next head coach at Colorado.

“We’re not going to Colorado,” Jones told him. “We’re staying.”

Minutes later, Babcock’s phone buzzed. It was Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart.

Babcock laid out the details of Tennessee’s rapid courtship of Jones in a candid press conference this morning in Cincinnati. Jones will be introduced as Tennessee’s head coach later today.

Babcock said no fewer than five BCS schools attempted to talk to Jones. But Tennessee’s approach was different.

"Dave Hart called me in advance, and he was the only AD to do that,” Babcock said. “That is a lost etiquette...Dave Hart is a gentleman. He was first class.”

Babcock said he’s convinced that Jones didn’t know of Tennessee’s pursuit until after he had turned down the Colorado job.

“I have no reason to doubt he was honest with me throughout the process,” Babcock said.

By Thursday morning, Babcock and UC officials had grown tired of Jones’ flirtation with other jobs. But they knew the UT job would be tough to turn down.

“All I said was, ‘We don’t have a lot of time. You know it and I know it,’” Babcock said. “I asked him to set a team meeting in less than 24 hours. They deserved an answer and we deserved an answer.”

At 5:15 a.m. this morning, Jones called Babcock to tell him he was leaving for Tennessee. Two hours later, he told the team.

Babcock and UC President Santa Jeremy Ono also addressed the players, offering support for their final game on Dec. 27 against Duke.

Ono said he told the players, “You can buy a person a lot. But you can't buy his heart. Men, my heart is with you...My heart will be with you in Belk Bowl."

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2012 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Stories

Comments » 91

UMREB1992 writes:

The truth is that Coach Majors was right when he referred to some Vol fans as the legion of the miserable. Folks can say all they want about how horrible Kiffin was, but trust me, many of you liked the perceived swagger that he had, and would give your right arm to have a coach get up and tweak Saban, Spurrier, Muschamp, Richt and Franklin. If you win, that's great...if you go 7-5, or worse, it's juvenile. Will Butch Jones work out?? I have no idea. I didn't know whether Hugh Freeze would work out at Ole Miss, but that hire has exceeded everything I hoped for, and the players love him....and so do the recruits we are getting....

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

Believe it or not but there will still be people wanting to fire Dave Hart, for what, being honest and up front with the process?

budd#207344 writes:

Glad to hear that the Cincinnati AD likes Dave Hart. Hope he offers him a job real soon. Welcome to Coach Jones.

volfanlostnbama writes:

Man, it is just relieving to see some positive stuff said in all the madness of this search. Just way too much mud slinging going on. And its a comment that can be trusted.

volfanlostnbama writes:

in response to UMREB1992:

The truth is that Coach Majors was right when he referred to some Vol fans as the legion of the miserable. Folks can say all they want about how horrible Kiffin was, but trust me, many of you liked the perceived swagger that he had, and would give your right arm to have a coach get up and tweak Saban, Spurrier, Muschamp, Richt and Franklin. If you win, that's great...if you go 7-5, or worse, it's juvenile. Will Butch Jones work out?? I have no idea. I didn't know whether Hugh Freeze would work out at Ole Miss, but that hire has exceeded everything I hoped for, and the players love him....and so do the recruits we are getting....

Your first line is so spot on...that should be a reminder put some where on BJ's office wall or desk where he is constantly reminded of this fact!

TrouserCough writes:

Fire Dave Hart!

volfanlostnbama writes:

in response to TrouserCough:

Fire Dave Hart!

More like, if it was possible, fire a few of this obnoxious fans.

DalTexVol writes:

in response to UMREB1992:

The truth is that Coach Majors was right when he referred to some Vol fans as the legion of the miserable. Folks can say all they want about how horrible Kiffin was, but trust me, many of you liked the perceived swagger that he had, and would give your right arm to have a coach get up and tweak Saban, Spurrier, Muschamp, Richt and Franklin. If you win, that's great...if you go 7-5, or worse, it's juvenile. Will Butch Jones work out?? I have no idea. I didn't know whether Hugh Freeze would work out at Ole Miss, but that hire has exceeded everything I hoped for, and the players love him....and so do the recruits we are getting....

So true. Looks like Ole Miss did well with Freeze and hopefully Coach Jones will do well at UT.

Harleydls writes:

Surprising hire but lets see what Jones can do with a stable that has way more talent than Cincy. The real questions is can he recruit in the SEC. If yes, then he is successful. If no, then he'll be out in three.

redskinvol1 writes:

THIS IS A DESPERATION HIRE!!DOOLEY BEAT THIS GUY!!DAVE HART HAS FAILED!!!ANOTHER COACHING SEARCH IN THREE YEARS!!TRESSEL 2015!!!!!

racvol#234960 writes:

Great to see this and how it was really handled! Unfortunately some of our so called fans have been nothing but low class during this process. Dave Hart also did not spend several hundred thousand dollars to hire a search firm like the past AD did to come up with Kiffin and Dooley.

DalTexVol writes:

in response to redskinvol1:

THIS IS A DESPERATION HIRE!!DOOLEY BEAT THIS GUY!!DAVE HART HAS FAILED!!!ANOTHER COACHING SEARCH IN THREE YEARS!!TRESSEL 2015!!!!!

You would have to be an idiot (or a Redskin fan--same thing) to think that anyone would hire Tressel with the show cause baggage he would bring--including no bowl eligibility the first year.

Sorry about the Redskin fan=idiot commment, I just couldn't reaist.

redskinvol1 writes:

HART WAS DESPERATE SO HE REACHED TO THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL!!!I HOPE JONES WINS 10 NEXT YEAR BUT THAT WILL NOT HAPPEN IN ANY OF THE NEXT THREE YEARS!!!JONES WILL BE IN OVER HIS HEAD JUST LIKE DOOLEY!!!ANOTHER COACHING CHANGE IN THREE YEARS!!FIRE HART NOW!!!TRESSEL 2015!!

Rosie writes:

Dave Hart is a joke!!!! This is beyond a train wreck!

thevoice writes:

in response to Harleydls:

Surprising hire but lets see what Jones can do with a stable that has way more talent than Cincy. The real questions is can he recruit in the SEC. If yes, then he is successful. If no, then he'll be out in three.

Dooley did decent nationally and had a losing record. I think if Jones did what Dooley did recruiting-wise, and adding Jones' coaching ability, we'll be fine. Plus, I suspect he'll get Tee Martin and retain Graham.

TKO writes:

Good luck coach jones. Roll up your sleeves tomorrow.

jacobsvolfan writes:

in response to redskinvol1:

THIS IS A DESPERATION HIRE!!DOOLEY BEAT THIS GUY!!DAVE HART HAS FAILED!!!ANOTHER COACHING SEARCH IN THREE YEARS!!TRESSEL 2015!!!!!

Kevin Sumlin also beat Nick Saban so I guess that means Alabama should fire Saban and hire Sumlin.....right? I wish you people would quit with your third grade logic! It just shows how degrading the Tennessee fan base has become. Jones went 4-8 in his first year at Cincinatti and has gone 19-6 the last two years. This is definitely an upgrade from Dooley.

thevoice writes:

in response to Rosie:

Dave Hart is a joke!!!! This is beyond a train wreck!

Who should Hart have hired?

redskinvol1 writes:

HART MIGHT BE A GENTLEMAN BUT HE WILL ALWAYS NOW BE JUST A FAILURE IN MY EYES!!!BUTCH JONES REALLY?????THATS THE BEST YOU COULD DO???FIRE HART NOW!!!

suggest_removal_4_all_troll_posts writes:

Congratulations to Coach Jones! He has a good lifetime record and is ready for the big stage!

redskinvol1 writes:

in response to DalTexVol:

You would have to be an idiot (or a Redskin fan--same thing) to think that anyone would hire Tressel with the show cause baggage he would bring--including no bowl eligibility the first year.

Sorry about the Redskin fan=idiot commment, I just couldn't reaist.

WE ARE STUCK WITH SCRAPS NOW THATS WHY IN 2015 WE SHOULD HIRE TRESSEL!!!

edee writes:

Sorry, I see Dave Hart as a total FAILURE.

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

Hart winds up getting an A. I have been very critical of Hart, but he came through. If he wasn't going to take a chance on Petrino, Butch Jones was clearly the best available coach out there. Excited about next year now. I was afraid Hart was going to go with an older used-up coach like Butch Davis. Instead he picked a young highly energized winner. Last years Big East Coach of the Year (beating out Charlie Strong), with a winning record against Charlie Strong. Plus, this guy really wants to be at UT. Turned down Colorado hoping Strong would reject UT and he would be Hart's next choice.

UMREB1992 writes:

in response to redskinvol1:

HART MIGHT BE A GENTLEMAN BUT HE WILL ALWAYS NOW BE JUST A FAILURE IN MY EYES!!!BUTCH JONES REALLY?????THATS THE BEST YOU COULD DO???FIRE HART NOW!!!

Redskin, just exactly who would you have hired??? Be realistic when you answer(not Gruden, Tressel, or Petrino)...you'll be surprised that not many names come to mind.

redskinvol1 writes:

in response to jacobsvolfan:

Kevin Sumlin also beat Nick Saban so I guess that means Alabama should fire Saban and hire Sumlin.....right? I wish you people would quit with your third grade logic! It just shows how degrading the Tennessee fan base has become. Jones went 4-8 in his first year at Cincinatti and has gone 19-6 the last two years. This is definitely an upgrade from Dooley.

NO THATS WINNING WITH PLAYERS THAT ARE NOT HIS OWN AND LEAVING BEFORE HIS PLAYERS COULD LOSE!!!TRESSEL 2015!!

racvol#234960 writes:

in response to redskinvol1:

THIS IS A DESPERATION HIRE!!DOOLEY BEAT THIS GUY!!DAVE HART HAS FAILED!!!ANOTHER COACHING SEARCH IN THREE YEARS!!TRESSEL 2015!!!!!

Maybe someone will change your diaper after you get done kicking and screaming and beating the floor because you didn't get your way

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

in response to redskinvol1:

HART MIGHT BE A GENTLEMAN BUT HE WILL ALWAYS NOW BE JUST A FAILURE IN MY EYES!!!BUTCH JONES REALLY?????THATS THE BEST YOU COULD DO???FIRE HART NOW!!!

You should probably quit posting on this article because each post you make only confirms what most people already think, you're a negative, nay saying idiot !!! Have you ever posted a positive comment and have you ever been positive about anything?

redskinvol1 writes:

in response to UMREB1992:

Redskin, just exactly who would you have hired??? Be realistic when you answer(not Gruden, Tressel, or Petrino)...you'll be surprised that not many names come to mind.

PATTERSON,FISHER,MORA Jr,OR CHAVIS!!ALL BETTER THAN THESE SCRAPS!!

VolsFanInAfghanistan writes:

Well, I'm happy the search is over, but sad in the fact that some of the Volunteer Nation had to resort to hit Coach Jones up on twitter and start calling him names and telling him not to come. After reading some of the tweets I'm surprised he decided to accept. The man hasn't even gotten here and people don't like him. I say give him a chance and lets see what happens. Congratulations to Coach Jones. Now go out there and recruit us some winners and prove the naysayers wrong about you!!! Go VOLS!!!

oskie_score writes:

Wow! All of ONE day!! Thank you, Dave Hart, for dedicating your efforts to such an extensive search and thorough evaluation process!!! Well done!!!!

Ayres_Hall writes:

redskin... gived it a rest. You are in the minority. The legion of the miserable.

From what I see... Coach Jones met 90% of the hiring criteria set by Dave Hart. Even though Coach Jones had not previously coached in the SEC, he has been recruiting the SEC and playing against the SEC for three years.

redskinvol1 writes:

OK!!I HAVE SAID MY PEACE!!IN THREE YEARS IS IT OK WITH EVERYONE IF UT HIRES A COACH THAT HAS A REAL CHANCE AT WINNING IN THE SEC?I VOTE TRESSEL 2015!!

scvols writes:

Butch Jones is a good hire, if he can recruit, he will be a great hire.

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

I can't believe some of these comments. Are you the same people that want to bring Fulmer back? It's time for a fresh start. Fulmer's not coming back, Jon Gruden is not leaving ESPN and Hart was not willing to take a chance on Petrino. I can't think of a single coach who is more suited for the job, plus Hart didn't have to beg him to come here, he wanted to be at UT, and turned down good jobs hoping he would get the opportunity. We are very fortunate to get this guy. Who would you want Hart to hire (that would consider the job) over Butch Jones?

redskinvol1 writes:

in response to civilianvol_formerly_marinevol:

I can't believe some of these comments. Are you the same people that want to bring Fulmer back? It's time for a fresh start. Fulmer's not coming back, Jon Gruden is not leaving ESPN and Hart was not willing to take a chance on Petrino. I can't think of a single coach who is more suited for the job, plus Hart didn't have to beg him to come here, he wanted to be at UT, and turned down good jobs hoping he would get the opportunity. We are very fortunate to get this guy. Who would you want Hart to hire (that would consider the job) over Butch Jones?

CHAVIS AT LEAST BLEEDS ORANGE!!I ADMIT IT IS NOT JONES FAULT!!IT IS HARTS FAULT FOR NOT BEING ABLE TO DO HIS JOB!!FIRE HART NOW!!

volt11 writes:

in response to thevoice:

Good read...

http://www.rockytoptalk.com/2012/12/7...

Not my first choice either , but it is hard to argue with this article from Rockytop Talk. Good luck Coach Jones ! GBO !!

thevoice writes:

in response to redskinvol1:

PATTERSON,FISHER,MORA Jr,OR CHAVIS!!ALL BETTER THAN THESE SCRAPS!!

Patterson has stated he is happy at TCU. Fisher same at FSU. Chavis stated years ago he doesn't aspire to be a head coach. Mora? Dunno, but anything west coast likely wouldn't fit in at UT.

thevoice writes:

in response to redskinvol1:

OK!!I HAVE SAID MY PEACE!!IN THREE YEARS IS IT OK WITH EVERYONE IF UT HIRES A COACH THAT HAS A REAL CHANCE AT WINNING IN THE SEC?I VOTE TRESSEL 2015!!

Then please maintain your peace and silence until 2015.

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

in response to redskinvol1:

CHAVIS AT LEAST BLEEDS ORANGE!!I ADMIT IT IS NOT JONES FAULT!!IT IS HARTS FAULT FOR NOT BEING ABLE TO DO HIS JOB!!FIRE HART NOW!!

First, typing all your comments with the caps lock on doesn't give you any more credibility, but makes you look less rational. Second, the fact that Chavis bleeds orange does not make him a great head coach. Is there any college in America that would take Chavis for a head coach over Butch Jones?

budd#207344 writes:

in response to grimpmeister:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Dave Hart did a very poor job with this hire. His poor pr is a major contributor to the fan reaction to this hire. He has also set UT up to get trashed by the discrimination suit that has been filed over his hiring decisions for the combined UTAD. If you think he is doing a good job you are very much mistaken. I have no idea how CBJ will do but Hart has fumbled the two biggest things he has had to do.

etsu2k4#635301 writes:

As an Alum, I supported TN Football when they made decision to fire Fulmer only to hire Kiffin and then Dooley. I thought the moves were wrong but bought into the idea that as fans we needed to "give them a chance". I bought the shirts, hats, tickets and PPV. They rewarded my loyalty with losing football games and becoming the joke of the SEC...not to mention college football. With this hire, I am done with supporting UT Football until they get things fixed and they can start with firing Dave Hart!

redskinvol1 writes:

in response to thevoice:

Patterson has stated he is happy at TCU. Fisher same at FSU. Chavis stated years ago he doesn't aspire to be a head coach. Mora? Dunno, but anything west coast likely wouldn't fit in at UT.

MONEY TALKS!!!

racvol#234960 writes:

in response to etsu2k4#635301:

As an Alum, I supported TN Football when they made decision to fire Fulmer only to hire Kiffin and then Dooley. I thought the moves were wrong but bought into the idea that as fans we needed to "give them a chance". I bought the shirts, hats, tickets and PPV. They rewarded my loyalty with losing football games and becoming the joke of the SEC...not to mention college football. With this hire, I am done with supporting UT Football until they get things fixed and they can start with firing Dave Hart!

Really? A UT alum? Funny that your name on here starts with etsu. Bye bye we don't need fans like you oh wait your not a fan so get lost. Cheer up though I hear ETSU is thinking about bringing back football.

tenndave writes:

Looks like we were not the only schools interested in Jones. HE obviously thinks he belongs here or he would have bolted UC for more money sooner. Don't know enough about him and his style but my suggestion would be keep Chaney, add TEE, pry Al out of business, find someone who knows how to recruit and build defense. In the SEC, defense wins titles.

pcshowtime writes:

Look I do not know if dave hart is good or bad. But to deny there are not some internal problems at the University of Tennessee is denying the obvious and it is saying you accept it. Listen to coach fulmers sirus interview when he said he would come back to coach UT. They asked him what is the first thing you would do. "I would address the internal problems at the university." There are to many people talking about these problems. Is Hart tied down by Jimmy Cheek I do not know. Ridiculous academic standards. I did not like the strong hire I think this is better fit. But if it was true that Jimmy Cheek interviewed strong that is ridiculous. Also the fact that we let Jimmy Sexton use us to get his clients raises is a travesty.

redskinvol1 writes:

in response to civilianvol_formerly_marinevol:

First, typing all your comments with the caps lock on doesn't give you any more credibility, but makes you look less rational. Second, the fact that Chavis bleeds orange does not make him a great head coach. Is there any college in America that would take Chavis for a head coach over Butch Jones?

MY CAPS BUTTON IS STUCK AND I NEED BIGGER LETTERS BECAUSE I BROKE MY GLASSES!!IM RATIONAL, I JUST NEED BIGGER FONT!!

sbigdaddy writes:

It is so refreshing to hear others who have a good handle on our situation. Butch Jones is a good solid hire for us. He has a good track record of winning, he gets the most out of his players and he is a darn good coach. Will all the negative fans and bloggers just STOP! Thats one reason most do not want to come to UT we call ourselves VOLS for Life and the greatest fans in College Football however most fake fans from what I read from ignorant fans is "fire this person" "fire that person" "we suck" etc. Really! Coming from the greatest fans in college in football? Sad but young recruits read and listen to all yall say about our players and how some dog them out and trust me... why would they want to come. The funny this is some sit behind computers and tablets and talk smack. Knowing full well if you were at the game and had any chance of getting autograhs and or pictures with our players you would melt. So stop acting like some of you know every damn thing. To all the positive fans and true VOLS for Life Fans Thanks and we are about to open a can of whoop &^% to everyone this year. Go VOLS!

Agent13 writes:

in response to redskinvol1:

NO THATS WINNING WITH PLAYERS THAT ARE NOT HIS OWN AND LEAVING BEFORE HIS PLAYERS COULD LOSE!!!TRESSEL 2015!!

did you take Viagra before you started typing and trolling on the message boards and news sites this morning, because all of your letters are in CAPS?

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

in response to thevoice:

Patterson has stated he is happy at TCU. Fisher same at FSU. Chavis stated years ago he doesn't aspire to be a head coach. Mora? Dunno, but anything west coast likely wouldn't fit in at UT.

Are you saying Lane Kiffin wasn't a good fit at UT?

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features