Butch Jones doesn't bite on Saban bait

Head football coach Butch Jones congratulates softball player Ivy Renfroe as the University of Tennessee Lady Vols softball team returns from the Womens College World Series, Wednesday, June 5, 2013. The Lady VOls fell to Oklahoma in the finals, ending their season 52-12. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Head football coach Butch Jones congratulates softball player Ivy Renfroe as the University of Tennessee Lady Vols softball team returns from the Womens College World Series, Wednesday, June 5, 2013. The Lady VOls fell to Oklahoma in the finals, ending their season 52-12. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — The introduction said it all.

“About four days from now there’s going to be another coach from south of here visiting Athens, Tennessee.”

Unprompted, a full auditorium at Bradley Central High School booed in unison.

“Now welcome your coach, Lyle Allen “Butch” Jones Jr.”

Wearing his standard navy blue suit and orange-accented tie, Tennessee coach Butch Jones waved to a standing ovation. Friday marked the latest in Jones’ state-wide speaking circuit. As he has done from Knoxville to Nashville to Memphis, UT’s first-year coach preached his vision for the rebirth of Vols football.

This stop on the tour came with an unspoken agenda, though.

Alabama coach Nick Saban is slated as the featured speaker for the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce’s seventh annual benefit dinner, about 30 miles north of Cleveland, on Tuesday.

Tennessee fans, of course, are not particularly fond of Saban and his four shiny national championship rings.

So what did Jones do? He accepted an invitation from the Bradley Sunrise Rotary Club to speak in Bradley County. Then he drove south on I-75, right past Athens, hopped off at exit 25 and said this, “It’s nights like this that remind my how important Tennessee football is to this state.”

Heads nodded affectionately.

About 600 were on hand at the high school, whereas 1,446 tickets have been sold for the Saban event, according to a Athens Area Chamber of Commerce representative.

That disparity didn’t dampen anything. Jones arrived with talking points and hit on each. He mapped out his plan for UT, spoke about developing character in young people and then strayed from the podium, unbuttoning his suit coat for a question and answer with fans.

What Jones didn’t do was fall into the Saban quicksand. He chose to only loosely acknowledge the Alabama coach’s impending foray into his backyard. No highlighter-worthy quotes about Saban or the Tide were made to send the Internet into a tizzy.

Jones stuck to the script. He talked Tennessee. He acknowledged his Class of 2014 recruiting class currently being ranked No. 1 in the country. He bragged that his team’s cumulative 2.8 GPA is its highest ever, drawing the night’s first applause break.

The next applause came when Jones said his Vols will “carry ourselves with dignity,” adding, “We’re going to pull our pants up and tuck our shirts in.”

Speaking of pants, when asked if he’d don Derek Dooley’s now infamous orange pants, Jones plainly said, “No orange pants.”

That was applause break No. 3.

Soon after, the unavoidable Alabama question came calling.

“I’m going to ask what I think everybody here is thinking,” one bold young fan said, “When do I get to brag to my friends about beating the Crimson Tide?”

Jones didn’t bite that bait. After saying he acknowledges the importance of the Tennessee-Alabama rivalry, he responded, “Every day we’re working toward giving you your bragging rights back.”

Before being told that local government has decided that June 7 will now forever be known as “Coach Butch Jones Day” in the city of Cleveland, Jones closed his allotted time by saying the one thing Saban won’t be able to claim on Tuesday.

“I’m living my dream right now,” Jones said. “I’m your football coach.”

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee basketball and football. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn

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Comments » 136

kdaff51 writes:

Well if he took I-40 he was lost! Should have been on I-75 South.

ClassicVol (Inactive) writes:

in response to kdaff51:

Well if he took I-40 he was lost! Should have been on I-75 South.

Reading disability or do you get lost a lot.

PHAT_VOL writes:

Coach Jones is quite the politician. And thats a good thing! Energizing the fan base that hasn't had very much to cheer about in years. Keep up the good work Coach Butch Jones.
GO VOLS!!

powert#205805 writes:

in response to ClassicVol:

Reading disability or do you get lost a lot.

I have a feeling that KNS changed it after his comment. They do it all the time without acknowledging their error.

CCLC writes:

The conference’s balance of power at this point in the off season: Long way to the top sports fans.
just sayin'

Tier 1
1. Alabama

Tier 2
2. LSU
3. Texas A&M
4. Georgia
5. South Carolina
6. Florida

Tier 3
7. Ole Miss
8. Vanderbilt
9. Missouri
10. Mississippi State
11. Arkansas
12. Tennessee
13. Auburn

Tier 4
14. Kentucky

DingoVol writes:

I don't know if all UT fans understand how incredible it is that our 2014 class is ranked #1. A team coming off 3 horrible seasons shouldn't be #1. Coach Jones is a winner. He has been a winner everywhere he has been and he connects with young people. This isn't a paper tiger #1 class like Kiffin had either full of kids with questionable character. I am excited about the direction we are heading and am confident Coach Jones is the man to get us there. I will also go out on a limb and say he will coach them up at halftime unlike what we had the last few years.

rbwtn writes:

One thing we need to do. Stop being so negative toward Coach Saban just so you'll know I'm "Totally Orange" but I'm totally SEC too and without Saban we may not be in the winning situation we are in now in the SEC. Saban could easily be coaching another Conference, easily, yeah he has an attitude but what winner doesn't? Our blood runs Orange but it runs SEC too. He is pretty darn good.

SevenT writes:

in response to DingoVol:

I don't know if all UT fans understand how incredible it is that our 2014 class is ranked #1. A team coming off 3 horrible seasons shouldn't be #1. Coach Jones is a winner. He has been a winner everywhere he has been and he connects with young people. This isn't a paper tiger #1 class like Kiffin had either full of kids with questionable character. I am excited about the direction we are heading and am confident Coach Jones is the man to get us there. I will also go out on a limb and say he will coach them up at halftime unlike what we had the last few years.

Dingo

Nat. Signing Day is in February having a No. 1 Class at this point is meaningless

I will bet you are one of the same UT homer crowd that was all jacked up the season before Kiffin's first year....you were probably very proud of the UT mouthpiece then too

Also I'll bet you were a delusional Doolaidist who was all jacked up about Coach's character.

My advice is to learn about the game of College Football and accept reality....UT is in pitiful shape and will be extremely lucky to win 1 or 2 SEC games next year. Just like last year.

Just Saying

RockySwamp writes:

in response to rbwtn:

One thing we need to do. Stop being so negative toward Coach Saban just so you'll know I'm "Totally Orange" but I'm totally SEC too and without Saban we may not be in the winning situation we are in now in the SEC. Saban could easily be coaching another Conference, easily, yeah he has an attitude but what winner doesn't? Our blood runs Orange but it runs SEC too. He is pretty darn good.

Good point. GBO!

bosscat writes:

in response to DingoVol:

I don't know if all UT fans understand how incredible it is that our 2014 class is ranked #1. A team coming off 3 horrible seasons shouldn't be #1. Coach Jones is a winner. He has been a winner everywhere he has been and he connects with young people. This isn't a paper tiger #1 class like Kiffin had either full of kids with questionable character. I am excited about the direction we are heading and am confident Coach Jones is the man to get us there. I will also go out on a limb and say he will coach them up at halftime unlike what we had the last few years.

Agree with you completely. Not to get caught up in the number of stars a player has--let's give the coaches the ability to see ability in a player(s) that don't have 4 or 5 stars--the higher ranked recruiting classes, year in and year out, will get better results on the playing field. The year after our national championship, we did not have a good recruiting year. I am not a Fulmer-hater, he was our national championship coach, but we followed up our national championship year with some not-so-great recruiting years and I feel we haven't recovered from that yet. Here's to CBJ maintaining the excitement and retaining all of the recruits as we go through this season.

ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER writes:

If Auburn has had four straight top 10 recruiting classes-I'm assuming those first two classes should have produced by now.

ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER writes:

in response to SevenT:

Dingo

Nat. Signing Day is in February having a No. 1 Class at this point is meaningless

I will bet you are one of the same UT homer crowd that was all jacked up the season before Kiffin's first year....you were probably very proud of the UT mouthpiece then too

Also I'll bet you were a delusional Doolaidist who was all jacked up about Coach's character.

My advice is to learn about the game of College Football and accept reality....UT is in pitiful shape and will be extremely lucky to win 1 or 2 SEC games next year. Just like last year.

Just Saying

Why are you such a negative TN fan ? You know UT will be back to the top soon. Be patient.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to DingoVol:

I don't know if all UT fans understand how incredible it is that our 2014 class is ranked #1. A team coming off 3 horrible seasons shouldn't be #1. Coach Jones is a winner. He has been a winner everywhere he has been and he connects with young people. This isn't a paper tiger #1 class like Kiffin had either full of kids with questionable character. I am excited about the direction we are heading and am confident Coach Jones is the man to get us there. I will also go out on a limb and say he will coach them up at halftime unlike what we had the last few years.

Agreed..I don't know if there is a way to coach um-up at halftime, but if there is a way, CBJ seems like a coach that can. I remember UT's stunning come from behind win at South Bend. The team was executing but Kelly was throwing stupid pick six interceptions and the skill players were turning the ball over. The halftime adjustment was: Play smart, don't turn the ball over and the defense needs to get stops. I guess what I'm saying is Dooley wasn't able to change the mindset of his team, and that's really what the main goal of adjustments are trying to accomplish, more so than schematically. Butch Jones seems like the right person/coach to motivate the team and make them believe in themselves..GBO!!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to rbwtn:

One thing we need to do. Stop being so negative toward Coach Saban just so you'll know I'm "Totally Orange" but I'm totally SEC too and without Saban we may not be in the winning situation we are in now in the SEC. Saban could easily be coaching another Conference, easily, yeah he has an attitude but what winner doesn't? Our blood runs Orange but it runs SEC too. He is pretty darn good.

I don't pull for bammer anytime, but i do recognize greatness when i see it. Coach Saban is the best CFB coach in the country (without question). I don't see him dying as HC like Bear Bryant did, because his wife wants time to travel and enjoy their life away from fb. But, until he steps away, he will remain possibly the greatest CFB coach that ever lived. Just the way it is.

utvolfan1955 writes:

in response to ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER:

Why are you such a negative TN fan ? You know UT will be back to the top soon. Be patient.

seven teeth is not aTN fan. She's a KY troll

absgovols writes:

in response to GeauxTeamScribe:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Whatever credibility you may have had was lost when you showed your naiveté with your franklin comment. I am sorry but you are seriously discredited - not sure recovery is possible.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to GeauxTeamScribe:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yeah, Aubie was the worst team in the SEC last year. Gus has no SEC HC experience, big difference. Also, Vandy is no where close to being 2nd to Bama (too funny). I guess you are really a vandy troll disguised as an LSU fan..Good ruse.

usafvol writes:

in response to GeauxTeamScribe:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Those top ten recruiting classes didn't help much huh troll? lol

usafvol writes:

in response to ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER:

Why are you such a negative TN fan ? You know UT will be back to the top soon. Be patient.

Old seven teeth isn't a Vol fan; he's a pathetic troll living in his mom's basement..

tennrich1 writes:

in response to ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER:

Why are you such a negative TN fan ? You know UT will be back to the top soon. Be patient.

Man that was my thought exactly....I would hate to be married to a woman with that kind of negativity(while I do agree we may still be in for a rough road ahead at first)...But the attitude of someone like dat??? Wow....or maybe she's not orange at all...Who knows? Actually, who cares!!!

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor say Butch is a student of Sun Tzu's Art of War like Witch Doctor. Witch Doctor say excellent.
Bones never lie.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to GeauxTeamScribe:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Once again you are wrong..Butch Jones was a freakin' HC at a program that has exceeded Maryland in every way. It was the fat guy's coaching that made Maryland worth a spit. Why do think Franklin bolted??; He knew without the fat guy he would flounder like Edsel has so far. I'm not blind, Franklin has done well with Vandy, but he'll never win the SEC with 3rd rate facilities and a fan base that's only 50,000 strong if that large..Get real.

trace5254 writes:

Yea right Butch...sure, your dream is really to be the HC at UT. You wanted to be a HC at any major school and you happen to get lucky and land at UT. When they run you off as they do everyone we will see how you feel. Sadly, your comments about "living my dream" proves you already have a Saban inferiority complex.

Just when I almost want UT to become an average football team again I read "stuff" like this and hope this team stays down for another 10 years.

Roll Tide!

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to trace5254:

Yea right Butch...sure, your dream is really to be the HC at UT. You wanted to be a HC at any major school and you happen to get lucky and land at UT. When they run you off as they do everyone we will see how you feel. Sadly, your comments about "living my dream" proves you already have a Saban inferiority complex.

Just when I almost want UT to become an average football team again I read "stuff" like this and hope this team stays down for another 10 years.

Roll Tide!

Witch Doctor say in other news....
"Jones non-comment hurts a Bammers feelings" Witch Doctor say Jones applying the Art of War...hurts feelings! Witch Doctor say Butch Rocks!
Bones never lie.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say in other news....
"Jones non-comment hurts a Bammers feelings" Witch Doctor say Jones applying the Art of War...hurts feelings! Witch Doctor say Butch Rocks!
Bones never lie.

Bwahahahahahaha!!

murrayvol writes:

Butch is going to put a lot of trolls out of work.

I'll miss them. bwahahahaha!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to GeauxTeamScribe:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What has race got to do with it?? Is Sumlin not AA?? You're an idiot, like it or not.

ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER writes:

in response to utvolfan1955:

seven teeth is not aTN fan. She's a KY troll

I'm a Tn fan and I don't spend my time on other team's sites nor does anyone else I know. That just proves that they are either so pathetic that they want to just harrass and rub it in that their team is better (which if their team is KY then-there's obviously nothing to talk about)or they are really Tn fans. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it's a duck.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Bwahahahahahaha!!

Witch Doctor say they havent had their Pop Tart this morning it seems. Witch Doctor see Beare knocking trolls outta the park this morning too! lol
Bones never lie.

tensie2004 writes:

Coach Jones, as a 60 year Vol fan I can truly say that I am excited and well pleased that you are our coach. Keep up the good work, don't get discouraged when some things don't work out as planned. The entire Big Orange Nation is 100% behind you. One of the greatest compliments I can bestow upon you is that you remind me of a young "John Majors". You are doing everything right!!! Proud of your efforts for my beloved VOLS!!!

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

in response to utvolfan1955:

seven teeth is not aTN fan. She's a KY troll

Seven teeth, hell, I always thought it was seven turds!!!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to snowpeapod#263184:

Seven teeth, hell, I always thought it was seven turds!!!

Well, seven rotten teeth would smell like fecal matter..Good point.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say they havent had their Pop Tart this morning it seems. Witch Doctor see Beare knocking trolls outta the park this morning too! lol
Bones never lie.

Remember, bammer folk don't have any teeth. Grits and oatmeal are the primary cuisine to break their fast.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Remember, bammer folk don't have any teeth. Grits and oatmeal are the primary cuisine to break their fast.

Lol. Witch Doctor guess the missing out on the Flintstone chewables too.
Bones never lie.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Lol. Witch Doctor guess the missing out on the Flintstone chewables too.
Bones never lie.

*they missing out...
BNL

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Lol. Witch Doctor guess the missing out on the Flintstone chewables too.
Bones never lie.

I think an Alabama grad invented vitamins in a liquid form. He knelt down and licked the iron deposits at the base of his well water.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

I think an Alabama grad invented vitamins in a liquid form. He knelt down and licked the iron deposits at the base of his well water.

Witch Doctor chackle! lol
Bones never lie.

MetroplexMojo writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

I think an Alabama grad invented vitamins in a liquid form. He knelt down and licked the iron deposits at the base of his well water.

A Bama grad invited the toothbrush as well. If any other grad had invented it, it would be a teethbrush.

UTKin1992 writes:

I think Athens should be used as target practice for the US Air Force.

Beatings are also in order for the a-holes who paid to see Saban.

tarter_sauce writes:

in response to GeauxTeamScribe:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

would Joe Glenn be on that list if he coached in the SEC ?

The_Power_T writes:

I'm going to do something crazy and actually talk about the topic at hand. Like many of you, I'm absolutely pumped to see what Coach Jones can do on the field. He has a plan and he has executed it to perfection as of now. A lot of my excitement is based on the assumption that he will do well this year and overachieve with team 117. Yes, I know he has no SEC experience, but no coach does until they get the chance to coach in it( does that make too much sense?) What matters to me is he has been able to win everywhere he's been within his own talent pool. If he gets the talent, the system should work. Another thing I'm very happy about is how classy Coach has been through all of this. He is having to do a big rebuild job, and having to get Tennessee back on the map. A lot of people in his position just try to get any kind of attention they can(Kiffin, Franklin,etc). So far, Jones has taken the high road every time someone tries to bait him. He doesn't seem worried about what other people are doing, but instead focuses on his process. I dont think we will hear about a Jones quote being on a bulletin board. All these pathetic trolls can say and think whatever they want but we know the truth. Tennesse and Vandy shouldn't even be mentioned in the same sentence. Franklin has some momentum there but he's been a head coach all of 2 years. He runs his mouth too much and seems very petty. He will soon get a real job and get in over his head. He would do well to stay at a smaller school and overachieve. We are Tennessee and we will be back playing with the big boys, and history backs up that statement. We have our leader and the haters will continue to stack up. Stay the course Vol fans and we will rise to the top. It's always been great to be a Tennesse Vol and not a dang thing will change that. Go Vols!

UTKin1992 writes:

BTW...I was just joking...

volman2008 writes:

in response to SevenT:

Dingo

Nat. Signing Day is in February having a No. 1 Class at this point is meaningless

I will bet you are one of the same UT homer crowd that was all jacked up the season before Kiffin's first year....you were probably very proud of the UT mouthpiece then too

Also I'll bet you were a delusional Doolaidist who was all jacked up about Coach's character.

My advice is to learn about the game of College Football and accept reality....UT is in pitiful shape and will be extremely lucky to win 1 or 2 SEC games next year. Just like last year.

Just Saying

Is that dingo,or dingleberry.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to UTKin1992:

BTW...I was just joking...

Actually, that was a good quote for once.

utvolfan1955 writes:

in response to GeauxTeamScribe:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Looks like wilted flowers may be back. Yeah wilted you are a real Vol fan. F ing jerk

manoffewwords writes:

in response to tensie2004:

Coach Jones, as a 60 year Vol fan I can truly say that I am excited and well pleased that you are our coach. Keep up the good work, don't get discouraged when some things don't work out as planned. The entire Big Orange Nation is 100% behind you. One of the greatest compliments I can bestow upon you is that you remind me of a young "John Majors". You are doing everything right!!! Proud of your efforts for my beloved VOLS!!!

agree 100% ! all of us who really knew John Majors loved him and will forever. The Majors family is Tennessee football.

tarter_sauce writes:

in response to GeauxTeamScribe:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

hmmm, i smell 7IQ stinch all over this post .

BaldingEagle writes:

in response to GeauxTeamScribe:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

When Franklin can beat anything above a third tier team, we might listen. Wouldn't it have been nice to see how Vandy stacked up against Ohio St. this fall, but unfortunately we'll never know because Vandy knew it couldn't compete and bought its way out. As for being second only to Saban, I remember Butch Jones taking a less talented Cincy team and whippin the snot out of Franklin in a bowl game year before last.

chad954ut writes:

in response to GeauxTeamScribe:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It turned out to be a beautiful day in southeast Tennessee. I'm sure Alabama has nice weather today also. You should get off the computer in your mom's basement and go outside for some fresh air. LOSER !!!!

volforeverandever writes:

in response to GeauxTeamScribe:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Your still stupid as ever.Tennessee has the best players in the state committed to them and franklin begging just to talk to them.By the way Louisville just handed the commode doors a loss.

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