Butch Jones plans to be in Miami for Game 7 of NBA Finals to cheer on Heat, Erik Spoelstra

Tennessee football coach Butch Jones is hoping to be the Miami Heat’s good-luck charm for the second year in a row.

Jones will fly to Miami to attend Game 7 of the NBA Finals as a guest of Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.

The Heat won a thrilling Game 6 in overtime 103-100 on Tuesday, setting up a decisive game Thursday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Jones was sitting courtside last year when the Heat beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5 to win that series, 4-1.

Jones scored the seats through his friendship with Spoelstra, the fifth-year Heat head coach who has led the star-laden Heat to three consecutive NBA Finals.

The two coaches met through their shared agent, Trace Armstrong.

“We really hit it off,” Jones said. “We started to build a relationship and that trust factor. We found out we believe in a lot of the same core values and principles about motivating and developing your team from a leadership standpoint. And then we just kept talking and talking.”

Jones has made no secret of his admiration for Spoelstra’s work with the Heat, a team that has been under intense scrutiny and been given high expectations since the arrival of LeBron James in 2010.

“I think the job that he’s done has been remarkable,” Jones said. “I think everybody thinks that because you have some of the greatest collection of talent, that you just roll the ball out there and you play. That’s the furthest thing from the truth. What he has done to build that (group) into a team is remarkable. I think he’s got one of the most difficult, challenging jobs in the coaching profession.”

Jones has said he hopes Spoelstra is able to visit Knoxville later this summer to take in a practice and meet with the team.

“He’s a big football fan,” Jones said.

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

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Comments » 25

PHAT_VOL writes:

Very Cool! The game last night was one of the best I'v ever seen. I'll be watching the final game. You GO Coach Butch!
GO VOLS!!

mikethehistorystudent writes:

Booo...you're rooting for the wrong team!

dvols writes:

pretty awesome that Butch is pals with coach SPO,

I wonder if he can take some recruits?

chattabluetick writes:

He will give the pre-game speech if Derek Dooley isn't available.

keepitreal4vols writes:

Maybe he will be sitting next to some U of Miami football players who just happened to score a few tix on the street for $20 bucks.

volguy#211935 writes:

Hope Butch wins every game he's at this year...except for tonight. Hate the Heat.

Fryinpansvols writes:

I love Tennessee and CBJ but I'm a Spurs fan! Go Spurs and win your 5th title!

tovolny writes:

'''''SSSTARRRRT SPRED'N tha NEWS'''''''UT UT '''''SSSTARRRRT SPRED'N tha NEWS'''''''I LOVE UT UT ''''''' '''''''''''''' '''''''''''

StoneJackBaller writes:

Hope he wears Tennessee orange and ABC shows him in the crowd. Everyone will be watching....everyone, including all those recruits.

min32926#266113 writes:

I'm not a fan of either team, but it is cool that Coach Jones is invited as a guest to the game. I hope he wears orange and the power "T" to the game. GBO/VFL!

MetroplexMojo writes:

Heat fans are like most "Bama fans" who live outside Alabama: Front chasing bandwagon fans. I'm not insulting true Bama fans but those that were Florida fans 5 yrs ago.

antonio14313 writes:

...just don't leave the game early, coach!!! lol... let's go heat!

i wonder if the cameras will point out that he's there? UT could use the extra exposure...

go vols.

t

antonio14313 writes:

in response to StoneJackBaller:

Hope he wears Tennessee orange and ABC shows him in the crowd. Everyone will be watching....everyone, including all those recruits.

my guess is, he'll wear a suit with an orange tie, with a heat hat...

go vols.

t

bUTch_please writes:

Geeze, is the slow season here or what? Gol-dern Esquire thread.

By the way, it will be a navy Polo shirt, with blazer and power T pin. No hat. Gotta keep a soft profile on buddy tickets. Yes, he'll get air time.

antonio14313 writes:

in response to bUTch_please:

Geeze, is the slow season here or what? Gol-dern Esquire thread.

By the way, it will be a navy Polo shirt, with blazer and power T pin. No hat. Gotta keep a soft profile on buddy tickets. Yes, he'll get air time.

true: gotta fill space. and, it's game 7; arguably the 2 most powerful words in sports. might as well entertain each other. lol...

you're probably closer to the truth than i am. can't have a hat; it'd mess up his hair. and i like the T pin. but, we both know what he WON'T be wearing: anything spurs! lol...

t

tomatosoup writes:

While I'm not really a Miami Heat fan, I think it would be cool if Coach Spoelsta could come to Knoxville the week we play Alabama and pump up our guys. It does raise the question that once Coach Jones is done with coaching college football, will he coach in the NBA? Using plain logic, I would say no BUT....why in the world would he be doing more and more stuff with the NBA. Also makes you wonder if he might call a few plays this evening too with all the pressure of a game 7. If I were coach in a game 7, I'd appreciate a buddy of mine calling a play or two! Anyway....go VOLS and let's hope we can keep Coach Jones around for a few years before leaving for basketball!!!

StoneJackBaller writes:

in response to tomatosoup:

While I'm not really a Miami Heat fan, I think it would be cool if Coach Spoelsta could come to Knoxville the week we play Alabama and pump up our guys. It does raise the question that once Coach Jones is done with coaching college football, will he coach in the NBA? Using plain logic, I would say no BUT....why in the world would he be doing more and more stuff with the NBA. Also makes you wonder if he might call a few plays this evening too with all the pressure of a game 7. If I were coach in a game 7, I'd appreciate a buddy of mine calling a play or two! Anyway....go VOLS and let's hope we can keep Coach Jones around for a few years before leaving for basketball!!!

Blank stare

tomatosoup writes:

in response to StoneJackBaller:

Blank stare

I wasn’t saying that Coach Jones was leaving within the next two or three years to go coach in the NBA, it just makes me wonder why he is getting more and more involved with basketball. Word around campus is that Coach Jones is great friends with UT’s basketball Coach Martin and I am just praying that he doesn’t get temped to coach another sport like basketball or track and field? I think Coach Jones is THE guy to finally turn around our football program and with all of his success thus far, I’m fearful that other sports may want him to do the same thing. I would not mind if Coach Jones coached another sport at UT in addition to football, just don’t want him leaving our program anytime in the near future! GOOOOOO Vols!!!

volinlouisvilleky writes:

in response to tomatosoup:

I wasn’t saying that Coach Jones was leaving within the next two or three years to go coach in the NBA, it just makes me wonder why he is getting more and more involved with basketball. Word around campus is that Coach Jones is great friends with UT’s basketball Coach Martin and I am just praying that he doesn’t get temped to coach another sport like basketball or track and field? I think Coach Jones is THE guy to finally turn around our football program and with all of his success thus far, I’m fearful that other sports may want him to do the same thing. I would not mind if Coach Jones coached another sport at UT in addition to football, just don’t want him leaving our program anytime in the near future! GOOOOOO Vols!!!

Are you sure that's basil in your mater soup?

antonio14313 writes:

in response to tomatosoup:

I wasn’t saying that Coach Jones was leaving within the next two or three years to go coach in the NBA, it just makes me wonder why he is getting more and more involved with basketball. Word around campus is that Coach Jones is great friends with UT’s basketball Coach Martin and I am just praying that he doesn’t get temped to coach another sport like basketball or track and field? I think Coach Jones is THE guy to finally turn around our football program and with all of his success thus far, I’m fearful that other sports may want him to do the same thing. I would not mind if Coach Jones coached another sport at UT in addition to football, just don’t want him leaving our program anytime in the near future! GOOOOOO Vols!!!

i think that he'll stay at UT, AND coach in the NBA! <inhale> i mean, <exhale> like, a 2 sport coaching career. kinda like deion, in his prime, <inhale> except he'd be coaching, <exhale> not playing...

<passing the doobie>

;)

go vols.

t

tomatosoup writes:

in response to antonio14313:

i think that he'll stay at UT, AND coach in the NBA! <inhale> i mean, <exhale> like, a 2 sport coaching career. kinda like deion, in his prime, <inhale> except he'd be coaching, <exhale> not playing...

<passing the doobie>

;)

go vols.

t

Too funny! I just got off the phone with someone that lives outside of Knoxville and while there are rumors, he assured me that Coach Jones is not going anywhere…..except going to get UT a National Championship and many years of great recruiting! GREAT news and sorry to all of those fans I made worry…..it’s just a RUMOR! Go Vols!!!!

sly_stone99#434111 writes:

in response to chattabluetick:

He will give the pre-game speech if Derek Dooley isn't available.

The Heat want to win the game, Riley would never let Dooley's snakebit @$$ near his team.

Bodecker writes:

This is big news!

voloffaith writes:

in response to tomatosoup:

I wasn’t saying that Coach Jones was leaving within the next two or three years to go coach in the NBA, it just makes me wonder why he is getting more and more involved with basketball. Word around campus is that Coach Jones is great friends with UT’s basketball Coach Martin and I am just praying that he doesn’t get temped to coach another sport like basketball or track and field? I think Coach Jones is THE guy to finally turn around our football program and with all of his success thus far, I’m fearful that other sports may want him to do the same thing. I would not mind if Coach Jones coached another sport at UT in addition to football, just don’t want him leaving our program anytime in the near future! GOOOOOO Vols!!!

Been a while...but I've said watch that acidity!!! Mess with yo mind.....look at his history.....football...football...football....catch a theme there? He is a very good friend of Heat coach...friend...read no more in to it........BTW I predict either San Antonio or Miami will win the NBA title..........chuckle

pingkr62 writes:

in response to antonio14313:

true: gotta fill space. and, it's game 7; arguably the 2 most powerful words in sports. might as well entertain each other. lol...

you're probably closer to the truth than i am. can't have a hat; it'd mess up his hair. and i like the T pin. but, we both know what he WON'T be wearing: anything spurs! lol...

t

Antonio, I must disagree with you on the two most powerful words in sports. In my humble opinion, they are TOUCHDOWN TENNESSEE!!! :)

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