Published: Mon, November 13, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Butch Jones' time as Tennessee football coach is over

Butch Jones' time as Tennessee football coach is over

Tennessee's last top 20 finish in the final AP poll was 2007, the year before Fulmer was sacked.

The Vols lost to LSU in that season's SEC Championship and beat Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl.

Apparently, giving up 50 points to one of the worst teams in the SEC was the final straw for Tennessee. Tennessee was picked to win the East previous year but stumbled after a 5-0 start.

Jones was sacked Sunday before completing his fifth season. Jones was 0-13 at Tennessee against teams ranked in the top ten - and the Vols were outscored 491 to 183 in those 13 games.

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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.

What did Jones tell him?

Jones was under contract through February 2021. He's owed about $8.25 million in buyout money, according to the terms of his contract, although he's required to seek comparable employment to mitigate the damages. Jones has three. Lane Kiffin, whose only season was 2009, has one. By the end of the Missouri game, Tennessee had only five available scholarship offensive linemen, including two true freshmen and two redshirt freshmen.

As Tennessee's struggles continued, the criticism of Jones mounted. Beginning conference play with a loss to rival Florida was certainly disappointing, but the Vols followed that up by barely beating UMass at home.

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Under Jones' watch, Tennessee's football program dramatically improved its Academic Progress Rate, which had been so low at the start of his tenure that the school was at risk of facing penalties. Attendance is at 98,090 so far this year.

When making the next hire, though, Currie said money will not be an issue.

Regardless of preseason projections, a 4-6 overall record and 0-6 mark in the SEC was not what anyone wanted to see in Knoxville.

Jones has an overall record of 84-54.

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Jones was head coach at Central Michigan for three years and Cincinnati for three, both times following Brian Kelly, before coming to Tennessee to replace disgraced Derek Dooley, who was 16-21 in three years UT.

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