Following a demoralizing defeat at the hands of the 5-5 Missouri Tigers, Tennessee has finally pulled the plug on Butch Jones. Bruce Feldman had the news.
BREAKING Butch Jones is out as #Vols head coach, source tells me. He just informed his staff.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) November 12, 2017
Jones had put together back to back 9-4 seasons in Knoxville along with three straight bowl wins. His time at Tennessee ends with a 34-27 record overall and a 14-24 record in SEC play.
For all the good that Jones did, it was seemingly all undone in the final months of his tenure. He was faced with replacing pillars of the program like Joshua Dobbs, Cameron Sutton and Derek Barnett this season. He wasn’t able to do it. In year five of his program, that proved to the backbreaker.
Jones took over a dead program following the disastrous Derek Dooley era. To his credit, he had a pretty respectable program built by 2015. He just wasn’t ever able to get over the hump. Heartbreaking losses to Florida, Oklahoma and Alabama gave us a clue of who Butch Jones was in 2015.
His team failed to win the SEC East once again in 2016, despite likely possessing the most talent in the division. In 2017, the bottom fell out.
The Butch Jones era shouldn’t be remembered like the Derek Dooley era. The program reached some high points and was much more competitive overall. But unfortunately for Butch, the program hit a near all time low in his final year. In fact, this team has a shot to go winless in the SEC and reach eight losses — both of which would be firsts for this football program.
First year athletic director John Currie is now squarely in the spotlight. He knows how big this moment is. His next moves will define his time in Knoxville.
We will update this post as details emerge.
Have been told Tennessee has a team meeting scheduled for 1 p.m.— Jesse Simonton (@JesseReSimonton) November 12, 2017
UPDATE: Brady Hoke will be the interim head coach for the final two games.
UPDATE: Jimmy Hyams says that Butch Jones was given the option to coach the final two games, but declined.
UPDATE: The first decommitment following the news is in.
I am officially decommitting from the University of Tennessee........— Shocky Jacques-louis (@ShockyMVP) November 12, 2017
UPDATE: Decommitment number two
I’d like to announce that I’m opening my recruitment back up!— Tanner Ingle (@TannerIngle) November 12, 2017
UPDATE: Tennessee and John Currie will hold a press conference at 5 PM eastern.
UPDATE: Officially official.