John Adams: For Butch Jones, it's been access supplied during his time at Tennessee

John Adams
University of Tennessee head coach Butch Jones reacts while players stretch during a scrimmage at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, April 13, 2013 in Knoxville. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

University of Tennessee head coach Butch Jones reacts while players stretch during a scrimmage at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, April 13, 2013 in Knoxville. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

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Butch Jones’ work day was expected to run late Tuesday evening. But it didn’t include football.

The first-year Tennessee football coach was scheduled to speak to the UT Student Government Association.

Since the group was installing new officers, it thought the leader of another group in transition would be an appropriate speaker. So it asked. And Jones accepted.

He has done that a lot.

“Put it on my calendar,” has become a common response by Jones to requests that won’t necessarily help his team gain a yard this fall.

That raises a couple of obvious questions: What’s wrong with him? Doesn’t he realize he’s in the SEC?

Based on how openly and often Jones has promoted his program, you would think he’s trying to sell tickets to a Pay-Per-View boxing match.

He has made former UT players feel so welcome they might start showing up unannounced at his house for dinner.

The media isn’t that cozy with the coach, but it does have more access. Most importantly, so do the fans. And they don’t need a Twitter account to realize it.

Jones’ fan-related references pop up in almost every interview. He keeps including them, empowering them and reminding them that they’re in this together.

“They’re part of our football program,” Jones emphasizes. “100,000-plus fans in a stadium is pretty special.”

No matter how many of them show up for Saturday’s spring game, he wants them to leave hopeful, a challenging goal perhaps for a program that has endured three consecutive losing seasons.

He’s asking fans to invest in the program he’s building, not just the team he’s fielding.

“We want them to see a vision,” he said. “To see a style of play that’s disciplined and fundamentally sound. We will be a blue-collar football team, a team they can relate to.”

Jimmy Stanton, UT’s associate athletic director for communications, hasn’t been surprised by Jones’ fan-friendly, media-accessible approach. He expected as much after his first conversation on the subject with Jones.

“He understands that if you are out there trying to convince recruits about investing their college experience and talking about all the great things Tennessee has to offer, then you have to grant access,” Stanton said.

It seems simple enough. Yet, some SEC football coaches operate their program as though they’re running a covert military operation.

Conversely, Jones opened up his spring scrimmages and a greater portion of practices to the media. As of this writing, the program hasn’t collapsed.

Meanwhile, its new leader has further endeared himself to the fan base, which has gained greater insight into how the coach conducts his business.

The coach will be multi-tasking Saturday. He will have a spring game to manage, fans to entertain and scores of recruits to win over.

Many of those recruits will form a first impression of Tennessee. And sometimes, those first impressions still resonate on signing day.

You can bet Jones will be fired up for the occasion. Maybe the fans will be, too.

After all, they’re in this together.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/johnadamskns.

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Comments » 42

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

CBJ is one heckuva recruiter, not only with athletes, but fans as well..You can count on my support, coach..GBO!!

KJVol writes:

Coach Jones is just one of those guys that has a larger-than-life kind of personalities.
It'll play well with the fan base and the national media if he wins. Here's hoping he does.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to KnoxVegas88:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That's what I'm talkin' about!

pcorange writes:

For the first time in a long time, it looks like the future is bright. We haven't had a decent coach since 2008, but it looks like we've got one now. Go Coach Jones, and Go Big Orange!

BTW, good article, John Adams.

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Well said guys.

volfaninbuckeyeland writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

CBJ is one heckuva recruiter, not only with athletes, but fans as well..You can count on my support, coach..GBO!!

Hey BVB, So glad to see you and other die hard BO fans warming to CBJ. The man has yet to coach a single down of an actual game, but I believe most of us can sense a "Bruce Pearl" effect taking place. I have never met the man, but he impresses me as a real players' coach who genuinely appreciates the opportunity given him at UT to prove himself on one of the grandest stages in all of college football. UC football is the proverbial redheaded stepchild in this part of the country coming in way behind the professional teams in Cinci, not to mention OSU and UC basketball. Nippert stadium has a capacity of 35K, yet only about 23k showed up on senior day to bid farewell to a great group of student athletes who did their university proud. True champions don't avoid challenges, rather, they relish them. I, for one, believe CBJ is a champion, and with the resources he has available to him at UT, I now have hope for a resurrection of BO gridiron prominence in my lifetime. I realize that he is a Michigan born and raised product and that many of my fellow southerners have difficulty getting past the "Northern" influence in people's lives, but I once heard that home is not so much a place as it is a feeling. I simply hope and trust that Ktown will be home to CBJ and his family for a long time to come and that the prospect of playing in Neyland will once again strike BO opponents with a sense of awe and dread. The look on this coach's face the first time he leads his team through the T in front of a 100k people will be priceless.

redskinvol1 writes:

I like what I see so far.Go Vols!!

MooseandSquirrelVol writes:

in response to redskinvol1:

I like what I see so far.Go Vols!!

So do I and apparently, JA.

gc_scvol writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

CBJ is one heckuva recruiter, not only with athletes, but fans as well..You can count on my support, coach..GBO!!

B_B I feel the same as you, and am looking forward to the resurgence of BIG ORANGE FOOTBALL. Thanks for starting the post with a good positive statement. I believe, as CBJ has stated, that we're all in this together. GBO
ALL VOL...ALL THE TIME.

Prostar writes:

in response to volfaninbuckeyeland:

Hey BVB, So glad to see you and other die hard BO fans warming to CBJ. The man has yet to coach a single down of an actual game, but I believe most of us can sense a "Bruce Pearl" effect taking place. I have never met the man, but he impresses me as a real players' coach who genuinely appreciates the opportunity given him at UT to prove himself on one of the grandest stages in all of college football. UC football is the proverbial redheaded stepchild in this part of the country coming in way behind the professional teams in Cinci, not to mention OSU and UC basketball. Nippert stadium has a capacity of 35K, yet only about 23k showed up on senior day to bid farewell to a great group of student athletes who did their university proud. True champions don't avoid challenges, rather, they relish them. I, for one, believe CBJ is a champion, and with the resources he has available to him at UT, I now have hope for a resurrection of BO gridiron prominence in my lifetime. I realize that he is a Michigan born and raised product and that many of my fellow southerners have difficulty getting past the "Northern" influence in people's lives, but I once heard that home is not so much a place as it is a feeling. I simply hope and trust that Ktown will be home to CBJ and his family for a long time to come and that the prospect of playing in Neyland will once again strike BO opponents with a sense of awe and dread. The look on this coach's face the first time he leads his team through the T in front of a 100k people will be priceless.

So very nicely stated. I'll just add an AMEN.

mpmknox writes:

His fan-based activities sound familiar. Remember Bruce Pearl standing up on a table in the student cafeteria trying to generate enthusiam among students for the waning BB program? Also, I was attending UT in the late 1970s and remember Johnny Majors "marching home" with the same sort of rah-rah, get out in the community-type attitude. Let's hope it works again.

AlpharettaVol writes:

I once attended all the Big Orange Caravan stops in Atlanta but I haven't been in the past few years simply because my heart hasn't been in it. This year, however, my wife and I are looking forward to meeting and hearing Coach Jones in person. And as a bonus, it looks like CCM and CHW will also be there. Once again, the future of Bog Orange athletics looks bright. It's been tough living in Georgia recently.

allvol8 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

CBJ is one heckuva recruiter, not only with athletes, but fans as well..You can count on my support, coach..GBO!!

I agree Bear...I am so excited...looking forward to the O&W game this weekend...I think CBJ has us going the right direction. Evidenced (for the trolls) by the recruiting..and methods he uses to maintain focus. We will see come Sept. how it translates on the field. GBO!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to volfaninbuckeyeland:

Hey BVB, So glad to see you and other die hard BO fans warming to CBJ. The man has yet to coach a single down of an actual game, but I believe most of us can sense a "Bruce Pearl" effect taking place. I have never met the man, but he impresses me as a real players' coach who genuinely appreciates the opportunity given him at UT to prove himself on one of the grandest stages in all of college football. UC football is the proverbial redheaded stepchild in this part of the country coming in way behind the professional teams in Cinci, not to mention OSU and UC basketball. Nippert stadium has a capacity of 35K, yet only about 23k showed up on senior day to bid farewell to a great group of student athletes who did their university proud. True champions don't avoid challenges, rather, they relish them. I, for one, believe CBJ is a champion, and with the resources he has available to him at UT, I now have hope for a resurrection of BO gridiron prominence in my lifetime. I realize that he is a Michigan born and raised product and that many of my fellow southerners have difficulty getting past the "Northern" influence in people's lives, but I once heard that home is not so much a place as it is a feeling. I simply hope and trust that Ktown will be home to CBJ and his family for a long time to come and that the prospect of playing in Neyland will once again strike BO opponents with a sense of awe and dread. The look on this coach's face the first time he leads his team through the T in front of a 100k people will be priceless.

+100

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to allvol8:

I agree Bear...I am so excited...looking forward to the O&W game this weekend...I think CBJ has us going the right direction. Evidenced (for the trolls) by the recruiting..and methods he uses to maintain focus. We will see come Sept. how it translates on the field. GBO!

Me, also..I supported CDD, but by no means believe he was the right man for the job..With CBJ (who I lobbied for after I knew Strong was a serious candidate) I felt he was perfect for UT, he's got a proven record, and proven system. He also flooded the NFL with 2&3* athletes; So, just imagine what he'll do with 4&5* talent..GBO!!

allvol8 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Me, also..I supported CDD, but by no means believe he was the right man for the job..With CBJ (who I lobbied for after I knew Strong was a serious candidate) I felt he was perfect for UT, he's got a proven record, and proven system. He also flooded the NFL with 2&3* athletes; So, just imagine what he'll do with 4&5* talent..GBO!!

A+++++

BadBob70 writes:

I was at UT for 4 Orange and White games, but never went to a single one of them. 40 years later I am planning on attending my first one this weekend.

That's what this coach has done!

I keep coming back to how some recent coaches at UT had nothing to learn from Pat Summit, and how CBJ takes every page out of her book to heart.

tovolny writes:

Hey John, is that you? One never knows for sure from where John comes. John on a positive cue...I think. I suppose this digs Coach Dooley a little, I hope this wasn't his intent. I believe Derrick Dooley was an honest, hard working person who put forth his best efforts. For that, I am grateful. I like the Butch Jones situation, and believe we are getting back on track. Dooley was close to success...maybe about 5 tackles away. He'll live to coach again somewhere, and I wish him and his family the best. I love his mother, she is a jewel.

BUT NOW...aaaaalllloooonnnnnggg commmmmmme Joooooones. I am ready for a good year.

cheetah-vol writes:

in response to tovolny:

Hey John, is that you? One never knows for sure from where John comes. John on a positive cue...I think. I suppose this digs Coach Dooley a little, I hope this wasn't his intent. I believe Derrick Dooley was an honest, hard working person who put forth his best efforts. For that, I am grateful. I like the Butch Jones situation, and believe we are getting back on track. Dooley was close to success...maybe about 5 tackles away. He'll live to coach again somewhere, and I wish him and his family the best. I love his mother, she is a jewel.

BUT NOW...aaaaalllloooonnnnnggg commmmmmme Joooooones. I am ready for a good year.

I understand why you might think JA was giving a slight dig towards CDD. The difference is that by CBJ is granting more access to the press in particular, we are being exposed to how woefully CDD ran the program in many different ways. Recruiting efforts are a prime example of the difference we are finding out about. I don't "hate" CDD. He just wasn't the guy for the job. It's great to read about our team with the open access CBJ is giving to everyone in the VOL Nation. It is refreshing and energizing. GBO!

formervol1950s writes:

in response to AlpharettaVol:

I once attended all the Big Orange Caravan stops in Atlanta but I haven't been in the past few years simply because my heart hasn't been in it. This year, however, my wife and I are looking forward to meeting and hearing Coach Jones in person. And as a bonus, it looks like CCM and CHW will also be there. Once again, the future of Bog Orange athletics looks bright. It's been tough living in Georgia recently.

Hang in there folks...there is a new sheriff in town who knows his business . Help is on the way .

Central_IL_Vol writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

CBJ is one heckuva recruiter, not only with athletes, but fans as well..You can count on my support, coach..GBO!!

Count me in!

Central_IL_Vol writes:

Did John Adams actually pen this article?

If so, color me impressed!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Johnny_Aint_No_Del_Shofner:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are a psychopath..I worship no one or thing except for Christ the lord. Now, run along mere shell of a man..

MurfVol77 writes:

in response to Johnny_Aint_No_Del_Shofner:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I just have one question to your post. What IS the answer? I ask simply because since the university, in your opinion, has made every wrong hire since CPF was fired. So please pray tell what the correct answer is?

VOLS_SEC_RULES writes:

in response to Johnny_Aint_No_Del_Shofner:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Take 2 Exlax and let's hope you feel better tomorrow.

cheetah-vol writes:

in response to Johnny_Aint_No_Del_Shofner:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thanks for that insightful diagnosis. I guess, by what you've said, I am nothing but a Big Orange addict. Many people, such as you, have tried to cure me of this addiction, but it's hopeless...and I feel no shame. It's one addiction I am proud to have forever. GBO!

antonio14313 writes:

in response to Johnny_Aint_No_Del_Shofner:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

you have now been deemed irrelevant. coach butch jones hasn't even coached ONE game at the university of tennessee yet, and you bash him. you're not a Vols fan. a fan is a person who is enthusiastically devoted to something, such as a band, a sports team or an entertainer. and i've wasted enough time on you, and those like you...

coach jones has everthing in control. good days are ahead. enjoy! GO VOLS!!!

t

baldingalum writes:

Let's look ahead not backward. Next year is going to be tough but I am getting more and more excited about Sept 14th against Oregon. We will go into that game 2-0. They have lost their coach and the NCAA scandal that will roll out like a bad onion will definitely hang over them. This will be our first big game, first big showcase on national television. If we can hang in there it will do a world of good for the season and the program.

SCVFL writes:

in response to Johnny_Aint_No_Del_Shofner:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Dear John,
You are NOT a VOL fan, NO HOW, NO WAY!!!!
A fan is "a person who is enthusiastically devoted to something."
Please read the 10 rules for being a “FAN”
1. You really need to have been born in or at least moved to the state of the team you root for at a young age.
2. If you jumped off the bandwagon for any reason you are never allowed back on. NEVER, so don’t even try when the team is doing well.
3. You are either all in or you are not.
4. If you don’t own team clothing older than 2 years you can’t be a fan.
5. If you ask who won 3 hours after the game ends you can’t be a fan! *Unless you just came out of a coma.
6. If you’re a gracious loser you can’t be a fan.
7. Regarding college affiliations: You can pull for the school if you attended for one semester or 6+ years. As long as you spent time at the school you ARE a fan.
8. If you didn’t go to school there and went some place that didn’t have a D1 team then you can pick your local team.
9. If you went to a D1 school you can’t pull for your school and the VOLS….not permitted.
10. If you say you’re not going to be a fan until the coach/athletic director leaves or they get good again, you can’t be a fan (see rule 2).

GO CBJ...GO VOLS
GO BIG RNG

UTvols33 writes:

in response to Johnny_Aint_No_Del_Shofner:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are weird. You should get some help. Do you get paid by Saban or Muschamp to do this?

GO VOLS! BEAT FLORIDA!

antonio14313 writes:

in response to Johnny_Aint_No_Del_Shofner:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

...and you didn't even spell Rocky Top right??? yup, you're not a Vols fan. i'll NEVER read another one of your comments ever again. such a waste. oh well. :)

go vols.

t

gc_scvol writes:

Dear KNS, What's up? JA finally writes something we can all agree on, and perhaps have an intelligent conversation about and you still let JeffY post on it. I guess the number of hits far outweighs the quality of he site. Thanks...NOT

allvol8 writes:

in response to antonio14313:

...and you didn't even spell Rocky Top right??? yup, you're not a Vols fan. i'll NEVER read another one of your comments ever again. such a waste. oh well. :)

go vols.

t

Antonio..good call.A troll that goes by another screen name is still a troll.(re frequent name changer you responded ).BTW I like reading your support for our beloved Vols..GBO!

spvol writes:

Please quit responding to this clown "JANDS". I am sick of seeing his BS re-posted. Instead of hitting "reply", just call him out by name (and I have several) and make your comments.

Lizardgrad89 writes:

in response to Johnny_Aint_No_Del_Shofner:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Nothing to say, but this post hand't been copied three straight times, I figured it was due to be reposted again.

illinoisvolfan writes:

in response to Johnny_Aint_No_Del_Shofner:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hi Jeffy. How's the lobotomy?

Nighthawk writes:

Adams quote: "The media isn’t that cozy with the coach, but it does have more access."

So who is to blame if the media isn't cozy with CBJ? Let me guess.

The_Power_T writes:

Please guys, stop responding that bench boy nobody. We all know how big of a loser he is, and he just copies and pastes the same garbage. It's actually kind of entertaining at this point. The little girl tells everybody they're obsessed with Dooley, yet can't go a single post without mentioning him. He's not a Vol fan so don't even get him the satisfaction of responding because that's all he's going for. If we ignore him, he will probably create a new screen name and start the same thing over and over but it's not hard to tell its him. Hopefully, he will eventually get bored or just go away. If not, KNS needs to do something about it. Anyways, I'm gonna keep going ra ra with my orange shaker, and being all sycophanty. Go Butch and Go Vols!

VOLFLIAM writes:

in response to UTvols33:

You are weird. You should get some help. Do you get paid by Saban or Muschamp to do this?

GO VOLS! BEAT FLORIDA!

He must be a Chuckey Doak grad.....Can't help it.... lol

RealisticVol writes:

As more info has surfaced about Dooly's relations with local high school coaches and how his teams [ both Louisiana Tech and UT ] felt about him, his early avoidance of the media and the fan groups was a significant "tell" as to how motivated he was to turn things around. Apparently he thought he was so superior, it would just happen without extra effort. With an example like that, no wonder his teams played the way they did. I am SOLD on Butch Jones! His attitude, hustle, enthusiasm, winning record and attention to every detail on the field and to the fan base reminds me of Bruce Pearl. Troll swine don't even come back on Bruce's supposed dishonesty. Butch IS A DIFFERENT PERSON. He does not have to have the the same defects just because he has the same positive points.

RealisticVol writes:

in response to RealisticVol:

As more info has surfaced about Dooly's relations with local high school coaches and how his teams [ both Louisiana Tech and UT ] felt about him, his early avoidance of the media and the fan groups was a significant "tell" as to how motivated he was to turn things around. Apparently he thought he was so superior, it would just happen without extra effort. With an example like that, no wonder his teams played the way they did. I am SOLD on Butch Jones! His attitude, hustle, enthusiasm, winning record and attention to every detail on the field and to the fan base reminds me of Bruce Pearl. Troll swine don't even come back on Bruce's supposed dishonesty. Butch IS A DIFFERENT PERSON. He does not have to have the the same defects just because he has the same positive points.

I should have included the difference in attitude toward the former players. THAT above all else should have told us about Dooley! The players are the life blood of Volunteer football

calvolfromkingsport writes:

2005 the year the Vols were predicted to win it all, 2006 a very good year SEC East Champs, D Cut leaves for Duke, 2007 Fulmer rolls dice with OC D Clawson, Fulmer fired by ex Dickey aide Hammy, hope happens with LK, hope dashed when lala beckons LK, with DD taking a job no one else wanted, next three years(thank the Lord Hammy was fired, but so was Bruce) spent with DD looking over his shoulder and enjoying big paydays, now BJ takes a job C Strong said no way to , so he could stay at Louisville,(the new sports dynasty), eight years ago...who would've thunk it?

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