Butch Jones New Head Coach for the Tennessee Volunteers

By M. Shannon Smallwood
Richard Mackson- USA TODAY Sports


It’s over…

The sweepstakes that was the drama of the illustrious Heading Coaching Search for the Tennessee Volunteers is officially over.

And the loser, um winner, is…

Cincinnati Bearcats‘ Butch Jones

So after a list that included John Gruden and contracts issues only to be ripped up by what felt like 10 other head coaches, Jones is the man sent to turn around the history and tradition in Old Rockytop.

But fans are not 100% sold…

And I don’t blame them at all…



Most of this type of reaction is coming from the fact that Derek Dooley beat Jones and the Bearcats 45-23.

The other part of this reaction comes from the fact that the process Tennessee AD Dave Hart put the school and the fans through was gut wrenching.

Remember, this is only Hart’s second year as the AD in Volunteer Nation

And it sure as heck looked like it was his first head coaching search he had ever conducted.

But as everyone moves on from the farce that was the past few weeks, let’s focus on what Jones is and will bring to the table in Tennessee.

Fact is Jones turned down three other FBS jobs just because he thought he had a shot at Tennessee.

That tells you alot about what he thought of the potential there.

Second, Jones has great ties in the state of Florida and that is one thing that made Phillip Fulmer successful during his run of greatness in the 1990s.

Third, he hasn’t messed anything up in the legacy of Brian Kelly

Jones followed him at with the Central Michigan Chippewas and with Cincinnatti.

For his career, Jones is 50-27 and that is better than anything Tennessee has had in a long while.

So, congratulations Tennessee!

You made the process fun for us all but in the end, you might have hired the best candidate of them all.


M Shannon Smallwood has over 10 years of experience in broadcasting and journalism in professional baseball and college athletics and is the ACC Football Guru, SEC Voice of Reason and College Football Comedian for Rant Sports. He is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the US Basketball Writers Association.

Follow him @woodysmalls.

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