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Tennessee parts ways with head coach Butch Jones

13 November, 2017, 01:58 | Author: Christina Hansen
  • Tennessee Vols set to take on potent Missouri offense in their final regular-season road contest of season

Butch Jones clearly had a short leash, a scalding hot seat or whatever the preferred phrase is for a coach who will be unemployed soon.

"None of us want to be in this position". 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. 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. The Volunteers now hold the seventh-best recruiting class for 2018, although it will be up to Jones' replacement to hold those recruits for next season.

Yet the awful effort showed that the team had quit on Jones or didn't consider him a coach for whom to show its best effort. The team also lost to SC and Kentucky (just their second loss to the Wildcats in 33 years) before getting a non-conference respite against Southern Miss.

Jones took over Tennessee in 2013 as Derek Dooley's replacement. Missouri (5-5, 2-4) scored five Saturday night and the loss dropped Tennessee into a last-place tie with Vandy in the East.

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Currie now must begin a coaching search just 7 1/2 months after taking over as Tennessee's athletic director.

"I know Vol Nation will rally around this team and support our student-athletes as they complete the remainder of this season", Currie said in the statement. That included a 14-24 record against SEC competition.

Tennessee's top returning receiver (Jauan Jennings), top returning linebacker (Darrin Kirkland Jr.) and top returning tackler (Todd Kelly Jr.) all had suffered season-ending injuries by mid-September.

As Tennessee's struggles continued, the criticism of Jones mounted.

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Jones' resume in Tennessee is more impressive than you might expect with the way the fans have run him out of town. Tennessee lost at Vanderbilt later that week, and the "champions of life" remark turned into an internet meme. "The Jones family has poured their heart and soul into this Tennessee football program and the Knoxville community".

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. Attendance is at 98,090 so far this year. "They poured everything into making our program better - and our program is better than when they arrived five years ago".

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. Previously, Butch was the head coach at the University of Cincinnati and was also the head coach at Central Michigan.

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