Tennessee finally acknowledges the inevitable, firing football coach Butch Jones
- Author: Lawrence Cooper Nov 13, 2017,
Nov 13, 2017, 0:22
Jones began his head coaching career at Central Michigan before moving to Cincinnati and eventually to Tennessee in 2013.
Sports Illustrated's Bruce Feldman was the first to report the news.
Tennessee fired fifth-year head coach Butch Jones after another blowout loss, the school announced Sunday.
But losing to Missouri in Columbia, a team that Tennessee defeated 63-37 last season, was all athletic director John Currie could stand and everyone involved with the Vols football program could stand no more.
The Volunteers are 0-6 in the Southeastern Conference this season with a 4-6 overall record.
As Tennessee's struggles continued, the criticism of Jones mounted.
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If Tennessee wanted to wait until after the season to make a coaching change, the football team's lack of success made that an increasingly hard choice.
Jones had a considerable rebuilding project to undertake after Derek Dooley's disastrous three-season reign, but had the Vols in a bowl game by his second season and won nine games in his third year. The Vols also have never lost eight games in a season.
Ingle told the Sentinel he will take his visits - definitely to NC State and maybe to Virginia Tech - while also keeping an eye on who the Vols end up hiring to succeed Jones, who finished with a 34-27 (14-24 SEC) record at Tennessee.
Brady Hoke will serve as interim head coach for the rest of season.
Jones, hired at Tennessee on December 7, 2012, as the Vols' 24 head coach, after winning four conference championships in his previous six years, and his staff have done a terrific job recruiting players to Tennessee, but the development of many has been widely considered sub-par. Hoke has a career coaching record of 78-70 between three jobs with Ball State, San Diego State and MI.
It will be interesting to see what impact the coaching change has on Tennessee's current recruiting class, but at least two top players shared that they are remaining committed for the time being.