However, it was just 24 hours before Cincinnati had Jones’ replacement, and the name was not one that many had considered: Texas Tech Red Raiders head coach Tommy Tuberville.
The 58-year-old Tuberville led Texas Tech to a 7-5 record in 2012, including a bid in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas, where the Red Raiders beat the Minnesota Golden Gophers, 34-31 (without Tuberville).
Tuberville has previously been head coach at three Division I schools. He was 25-20 as head coach of the Ole Miss Rebels from 1995-98. Tuberville left Ole Miss to become head man for the Auburn Tigers, where he went 85-40 from 1999-2008. His 2004 Tigers went 13-0, but were left out of the BCS Championship.
In 2010, Tuberville took the job at Texas Tech, where he stayed for three seasons. He was 20-17 overall in Lubbock.
Cincinnati is coming off of a 10-3 season, including 5-2 in the Big East Conference, which was good enough for a four-way tie for the conference title.
Tuberville hopes to continue the building done by Jones, as well as Jones’ predecessor, Brian Kelly, now head coach of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
At Texas Tech, Tuberville’s team was known for its high-powered offense. In 2012, the Red Raiders were second nationally in passing offense (361.9 YPG), seventh in passing efficiency (157.51), No. 21 in total offense (501.4 YPG) and 16th in scoring offense (37.8 PPG).
Tuberville is also known as an outstanding recruiter. At Texas Tech, he posted back-to-back Top 25 recruiting classes in 2011 and 2012, the first time in school history that feat had been accomplished.
His first Cincinnati recruiting class was ranked 71st nationally by Rivals, which was sixth in the Big East. Tuberville and his staff will have to adjust to their new Midwestern surroundings to improve on future classes. He also must compete for recruits in the fertile recruiting hotbed of Ohio.
Tuberville hopes to bring the offensive explosion and recruiting ability to Cincinnati, and to keep the Bearcats competitive in the ever-changing Big East Conference.