Coach Butch Jones led Cincinnati to a share of the Big East title last Saturday. Today he’ll become Tennessee’s head coach. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)
After a two-week mission that felt like two months in coach-search time, Tennessee has its new football coach. The Vols hired Cincinnati’s Butch Jones and reportedly plan to introduce him at 2:30 Eastern today.
Jones spent the 2005 and 2006 seasons as wide receivers coach at West Virginia, a span during which the Mountaineers went 22-3 and won bowl games over Georgia Tech (Gator) and Georgia (Sugar). He subsequently assembled three winning seasons as head coach at Central Michigan before replacing Brian Kelly at Cincinnati. Though his 50-27 record earned Jones a pile of coaching cred among his peers, parts of Vol Nation — particularly the fantasizing Grudenites — aren’t wowed.
After failing to reel in Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy and being flat-out rebuffed by Charlie Strong, Tennessee took some lumps in the national media. Still, the Vols landed a quality coach, a guy imminently more qualified than Derek Dooley was upon being handed the reins in January 2010. Still, the writers who have been covering this search now must deal with the consternation surrounding its conclusion:
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