U-Tennessee Sacks Saugatuck's Butch Jones as Grid Coach

U-Tennessee Sacks Saugatuck's Butch Jones as Grid Coach

Tennessee, winless this season in SEC play, has made a decision to part ways with fifth-year coach Butch Jones, sources told ESPN.

The Vols fell to Missouri on Saturday by a score of 50-17. Until Tennessee finds a new head coach, Brady Hoke will take over as interim coach for the rest of the season.

"We're standing here right now because we haven't won enough", Currie told a full room Sunday night. But during an injury-plagued 2016 season, the Vols were unable to capitalize on early season wins over Florida and Georgia and lost games to SC and Vanderbilt late in the season to squander a chance to play in their first SEC championship game since 2007, Phillip Fulmer's next-to-last season. That loss moved Tennessee to 0-6 in the conference and 4-6 overall. Jones went 3-0 in bowl games with the Vols. Jones went 34-27 during his tenure.

Tennessee was not expected to win the SEC East, but they were projected to be competitive in the division with Georgia and Florida. Jones was reportedly given the opportunity to coach those final two games, but declined. UT was 10-14 under Jones in games decided by eight points or less. With Tennessee looking for a new coach the five most popular names to become the next Vols head coach are below.

"An exhaustive search is underway for a person of the highest integrity and character with the skills and vision to propel Tennessee to championships", Currie said. This search will be my sole focus, and I will be in regular contact with Chancellor (Kim) Davenport.

"We have been fortunate to have Coach Jones lead our program for the last five years".

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Please note your obligations under Section 3.1.4 of the Agreement, including without limitation your obligation to use your reasonable best efforts to mitigate the University's obligation to pay liquidated damages by making reasonable and diligent efforts as soon as practicable following termination to obtain another comparable employment or paid services position.

Hoke took over as the defensive line coach for the Volunteers this season after spending last season as the defensive coordinator at Oregon. Beginning conference play with a loss to rival Florida was certainly disappointing, but the Vols followed that up by barely beating UMass at home.

Since the beginning of the 2000 season, Tennessee is just 15-39 against Alabama, Florida and Georgia. One month later, Tennessee lost 29-26 at Kentucky, which represented just the second time the Vols had fallen to the Wildcats in their last 33 meetings. The loss to Vanderbilt in Nashville cost the Vols a berth in the Sugar Bowl.

Jones was under contract through February 28, 2021. He is epxected to receive an $8 million dollar buyout. He's put together three consecutive winning seasons and bowl game victories.

Paying the amount remaining on Tennessee's assistants would run the athletic department upwards of $13 million, according to Currie.

"I have tremendous respect for Coach Jones and for (Jones' wife) Barb", Currie said.

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