New UT coach Butch Jones in Knoxville

UT press conference scheduled for 2:30 p.m.

New Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones addresses the media after being introduced by Athletic Director Dave Hart.

Photo by Adam Brimer

New Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones addresses the media after being introduced by Athletic Director Dave Hart.

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

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

See the results »

View previous polls »

Tennessee has hired Cincinnati’s Butch Jones to be its new head football coach, and he will be introduced at a 2:30 p.m. press conference.

Jones met with his players this morning in Cincinnati. The school announced his resignation shortly thereafter.

Jones arrived in Knoxville with UT athletic director Dave Hart around noon.

Jones waited this week while the Vols’ search unsuccessfully targeted Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy and Louisville’s Charlie Strong. Courted by both Purdue and Colorado in the last five days, Jones nearly agreed to a contract with the Buffaloes on Wednesday night, but backed out when Strong turned down the Vols contract offer. A day later, Jones met with Hart to put the new deal in motion.

“I’d like to especially thank Chancellor Cheek and Dave Hart for giving me this great opportunity," said Jones in a release, "and I look forward to the Vols achieving excellence both on and off the field for many years to come.”

Jones, who will turn 45 next month, has a career path that has closely followed that of Brian Kelly, his one-time boss at Central Michigan. When Kelly left for Cincinnati after the 2006 season, Jones replaced him, going 27-13 in three seasons. When Kelly left UC for Notre Dame, Jones followed him again. Jones is 23-14 in three seasons with the Bearcats, including a 10-win performance in 2011.

Cincinnati (9-3) is scheduled to meet Duke in the Belk Bowl on Dec. 27. It’s unlikely that Jones will coach in that game, although that has yet to be confirmed.

Jones grew up in Saugatuck, Mich., and graduated from Ferris State in 1990. Jones made $1.77 million this year. It will cost $1.4 million to buy out his contract.

Jones replaces Derek Dooley, who was fired on Nov. 18 after three losing seasons. He becomes Tennessee’s third permanent head coach since Phillip Fulmer was forced out after the 2008 season.

Jones has been to Knoxville before. The Bearcats were routed by Tennessee 45-23 on Sept. 12, 2011, in Neyland Stadium. Cincinnati recovered from the loss to finish the season ranked 25th, giving Dooley his only win against a team that finished the year in the Top 25.

Jones had been a rumored finalist for jobs at Kentucky and Colorado, but sources in both searches have said that he told them he was holding out to see if he could get the Tennessee job.

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

Related: Butch Jones biography

Related document: Butch Jones' Memorandum of Understanding with Tennessee

Timeline of events

Nov. 10: On the heels of a third consecutive winless October in the SEC and a less-than stellar homecoming win over Troy, Tennessee falls to Missouri in four overtimes, 51-48. The game is notable for then-coach Derek Dooley's decision to not play for the win at the end of regulation with two timeouts and the ball near midfield.

Nov. 17:Tennessee loses to Vanderbilt in Nashville for the first time since 1982, 41-18. It is the worst loss the Vols have had to their in-state foe in multiple generations. The loss guarantees a three-season sub-.500 streak for Tennessee for the first time in over 100 years.

Nov. 18: UT athletics director Dave Hart meets with, and fires, coach Dooley in the early morning hours. Dooley elects not to coach the regular-season finale with Kentucky. Hart announces that he will be a committee of one in his search for a new coach.

Nov. 24: Tennessee wins against Kentucky to end the season at 5-7 and remain, along with Ohio State, one of only two Football Bowl Subdivision teams never to lose eight games in a season.

Nov. 30: Ending days of speculation, UT sources and Jon Gruden's agent both refute claims that the former NFL coach and Vols' graduate assistant was close to coming to coach the Vols, with his agent calling it, "fantasy."

Dec. 5: Louisville coach Charlie Strong turns down the Tennessee job. UT's Hart had returned to Knoxville from meeting with Strong in Louisville convinced he had found his next coach, according to reports.

Dec. 7: Butch Jones tells Cincinnati he is leaving to take the head coaching position at Tennessee.

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 » 505

OrangeCrush writes:

Welcome aboard CBJ and welcome to the TN Family.

TrueVOL64 writes:

Congrats coach Jones!!! Welcome to rocky top!! Lets get to work now!!!

vol98champ writes:

OK. Now lets get on the wagon and pull this Vol Nation back to life.

CheckerboardPassed writes:

Let's get on board Big Orange fans!! This is a young man who has won and been ACC coach of the year twice. The coaching search has been a roller coaster to say the least and let's hope and pray we've found a young man that can bring us back to competing at the top level the SEC. GBO!!

GerryOP writes:

Welcome to Big Orange Country Coach Jones! Go forth and do well!

TheSmokyMountainThatRides writes:

i can't wait to boo him and hart when they are announced at the next basketball game. i know, i know. all of you hollier than thou fans will say that makes me a bad fan. when in fact most of you that will say that won't be at the next basketball game because they aren't playing well. that makes you a bad fan. i pay thousands a year to that place and while it is nothing compared to the big donors, it is a big chunk of my yearly income. so the way i see it i'm entitled to voice my anger on the hire. boo.

Mudcat58 writes:

Welcome to Big Orange Country, Coach Jones.

I'll be honest and say you wren't anywhere on my wishlist, but I won't bash you and please ignore the negavols who do.

You've got my support until you prove you don't deserve it.

Wayfarer writes:

Welcome Coach Jones to the Vol Nation. Let's get'er done!

HuntsvilleVol writes:

Cannot say I'm very excited..hope he has a plan and proves everyone wrong..he wants to be here..that's a start...

calvol writes:

Good luck coach, you're going to need it. I don't blame you for this fiasco so I will support you and the team. Mr. Hart, please resign. You had a long time to get your man, and didn't get it done. If you didn't have somebody ready to go you shouldn't have fired Dooley and paid the huge buy out. In doing so you damaged the university. This is Dooley part deux.

1939flyingwedge writes:

ZZZZZZZZ......

BigOrangeInEngland writes:

Welcome Butch – You are the man and hopefully that includes a plan to get my Vols back on top.
Go Vols!

JDX47 writes:

I think this is a great hire...if he can do for TN what his former boss has done for Notre Dame, I think we will be OK...Welcome aboard Coach Jones.

born2ride writes:

Good grief. We will be looking again in 3 years.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

This is not the home run we were promised!!This isn't even a can of corn..23 an 14 in a patsy league is far from impressive .Guess how many 4 star recruits this guy has landed at Cinncy?? ONE in 3 years!! Can't believe somebody didn't stop Hart's arrogant A## before he made this deal

wskeen#212984 writes:

Have they done the engineering studies yet to begin the task of curtaining off the upper decks, (AKA Thompson Bowling Arena).

AlpharettaVol writes:

in response to TheSmokyMountainThatRides:

i can't wait to boo him and hart when they are announced at the next basketball game. i know, i know. all of you hollier than thou fans will say that makes me a bad fan. when in fact most of you that will say that won't be at the next basketball game because they aren't playing well. that makes you a bad fan. i pay thousands a year to that place and while it is nothing compared to the big donors, it is a big chunk of my yearly income. so the way i see it i'm entitled to voice my anger on the hire. boo.

Maybe Santa Claus will show up and you can boo him, too.

AVolinWestVirginia writes:

I think this is a good hire. There will be negatvie comments, but Hart made the call time will tell. No one knew for sure that Brian Kelly would be successful and that worked out well. There is no doubt that Tennessee has slipped and any coach hired will not have a cake walk.

eb502us#225637 writes:

He's certainly a better hire than Strong. Only question is how his offense will work with the pocket QB's we have on the roster even if Bray were to leave. Could there be a mass exodus at that position?

vol98champ writes:

Butch Jones really wanted this job. I'll take him over all those other guys who were just trying to feather their nest. Let's hope that third time is charm in the coach carousel.

TNFaninFL writes:

Not everyone was going to be pleased.. if it was Gruden, there would have been a bunch of sideline fans saying it was a bad hire. He is our coach whether you like it or not, needs to hold together this year's recruiting class, convince Bray, CP and Justin to stay, hire a new Defensive staff, keep Graham and Pittman and go to work, remember, we could have been in a lot of games with just a decent defense rather than the awful one that we had. Support the guy.

gwbask writes:

Welcome aboard Coach. Much success!!!!

dvhill100 writes:

Welcome to UT Coach Jones. As you can see from some of the above posts and ones to follow, we have a deserved reputation as the most passionate, uneducated fans in college football. I wish you success in your career and returning UT to the upper tier of college football.

GloryDays writes:

Anyone would be an upgrade over Derek Dooley. Congrats coach Jones. I hope all Vol fans will get on the wagon and give coach Jones a chance. Most Vol fans know little about him, but he has winning record where ever he has been. I hope he can recruit and he can put together a great staff.

joe7514 writes:

This is who I have wanted us to get from the start. Good hire Dave Hart. Looking forward to next season!

Down_The_Field writes:

so happy i could stand on my head and fart my socks off.

Mbrodsky17 writes:

Congrats Butch Jones and welcome to the SEC! Not hit the trail and get recruiting because that is where success starts. Good Luck and Go Vols

albert63 writes:

65 percent winning percent...is that good?

AirForceVol2786 writes:

Well im not overly excited but lets hold judgement until we can see what Coach Jones can do. Go Vols! Atleast the Derek Dooley era is over.

Mbrodsky17 writes:

Congrats Butch Jones and welcome to the SEC! Now hit the trail and get recruiting because that is where success starts. Good Luck and Go Vols

VOLet_parking writes:

Two 4* recruits to Cincy in the last 3 years. Woohoo

CheckerboardPassed writes:

da.... wah... i meant to say Coach Jones has been BIG EAST coach of the year in two of his three seasons. Yikes!
Let's get rolling Big Orange... welcome to Rocky Top Lyle Allen "Butch" Jones, Jr.!

USMCDEVILDOG2003 writes:

Welcome couch Butch Jones, go out and find the best DC collage football has to offer.

888657 writes:

in response to TheSmokyMountainThatRides:

i can't wait to boo him and hart when they are announced at the next basketball game. i know, i know. all of you hollier than thou fans will say that makes me a bad fan. when in fact most of you that will say that won't be at the next basketball game because they aren't playing well. that makes you a bad fan. i pay thousands a year to that place and while it is nothing compared to the big donors, it is a big chunk of my yearly income. so the way i see it i'm entitled to voice my anger on the hire. boo.

I'm going to back you on this comment. I have tried to remain positive during this search, with the reality(not Gruden)that we would hire a good coach. I cannot grasp the concept of offering Charlie Strong $4 million to be turned down, and make this hire the next morning. This is the same coach who got his brakes beat off of him by Derek Dooley. I will always support our players, because they are suffering more than anyone during this circus. It is a really sad day to be a Tennessee Vol. I hope the very best for Coach Davis, but I believe he is in over his head. Dave Hart and Jimmy Cheek should be fired immediately, and escorted off the University.

chattanoogavolsfan writes:

Well, we got our 4th or 5th pick, I will not say this is the end of the world or worse hire ever. BUT.....NOT what I was hoping for when this search began. This guy was probably like in the top 15 for some people. He was going to BUFFALO!!!!! BUFFALO!!!! REALLY???? Our recruits are NOT going to come in droves and we have lost our BIG three who I have heard were going to stay for Strong (well at least one or two of them). BYE top 15 recruiting class bye Bray and co. BYE 4-4 in the SEC, BYE winning season. HOPE HOPE HOPE I am SO wrong!!!!

Tennfan4075 writes:

Will somebody please turn off the lights at the UT Athletic Dept.

orange_glory writes:

he wants to be here. screw it lets give him a chance

bigdisbig writes:

Looks like the Craigslist ad worked. Butch Jones.....really????
Its time for Tennessee to bolt to the MAC conference.

wskeen#212984 writes:

Just wonder which calls these high school seniors will take when the caller ID lists: Coach Saban, Coach Miles, Coach Spurrier, Coach Richt, Coach Jones. Hmmmmmm??

D60 writes:

Good gracious,Cheek and Hart need to be ran out of the state. This is worse than what we had. I see a 4-8 record for the next 4 yrs. Fill the stadium up with water and we can have the biggest swimming pool in the country

leedsvol2007 writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

This is not the home run we were promised!!This isn't even a can of corn..23 an 14 in a patsy league is far from impressive .Guess how many 4 star recruits this guy has landed at Cinncy?? ONE in 3 years!! Can't believe somebody didn't stop Hart's arrogant A## before he made this deal

He has been at Cincinatti they are not exactly Ohio State or even Northwestern.

I suggest you get off the negative. Attitudes like yours are partly responsible for the decline in recruiting.

The guy won a championship at Central Michigan and has a winning record at a program that has seldom even had winning seasons in the last 50 years.

The oNly 4 and 5 stars that have played for them in recent years were discipline and home sick guys that had started at other programs.

Bob Neyland, Bear Bryant & Vince Lombardi are dead, Johnny Majors is 75+ years old and John Gruden was and will NEVER be our coach.

Give the guy a chance to at least move into his office.

GoVols!

arkyvol writes:

i hope he hires a couple of good recruiters.

Flyfisherman writes:

Welcome to Tennessee Coach Jones! Keep the "O", bring some "D" and we may have a little something on Rocky Top. Best of Luck!

TheSmokyMountainThatRides writes:

in response to AlpharettaVol:

Maybe Santa Claus will show up and you can boo him, too.

i would too. sicko breaking in to leave gifts for children. if his name were sandusky claus we'd be freaking out right now. boo.

hammerheadvol (Inactive) writes:

Good Hire ! Welcome Coach, now how bout K. Smart as DC

bfowler1161#262198 writes:

in response to TheSmokyMountainThatRides:

i can't wait to boo him and hart when they are announced at the next basketball game. i know, i know. all of you hollier than thou fans will say that makes me a bad fan. when in fact most of you that will say that won't be at the next basketball game because they aren't playing well. that makes you a bad fan. i pay thousands a year to that place and while it is nothing compared to the big donors, it is a big chunk of my yearly income. so the way i see it i'm entitled to voice my anger on the hire. boo.

So you are not going to give the man a chance? Only time will tell if it is a good hire or bad one. He has won on a smaller stage and its time to step to the big stage.

Coach Jones, welcome aboard. GBO!

born2ride writes:

Why would we hire a coach who lost to Dooley?

VolBy3 writes:

Happy to see the job done this morning. Welcome to Big Orange Country Coach Jones! There is a lot of work in front of you, but rest assured you have the fan's support. Sure the usual complainers will be here. Just ignore them like the rest of Vol Nation does. Good luck and GBO!

All4Vols!!

ponkey writes:

judas h priest....!!!!

Rugby2 writes:

Fire Butch Jones!!! I'm not drinking the JonesAid like all you Jonesorons. This set us back 20, no 100, no a 1000 years! Who does Jones think he is taking the job offered to him? I'm booing him and everyone else associated with this hire, its their fault our coaching position has been turned down by everyone and their brother. I can boo any time I want I gave this university a $1 million, no $10 million and it owes me!!!

Did that cover everything?

Give Blood Play Rugby

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