ESPN Reporting Tennessee Coach Butch Jones Fired After Blowout Loss

Beth Cruz
November 13, 2017

Tennessee's last top 20 finish in the final AP poll was 2007, the year before Fulmer was sacked. 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. How clear could it be that Tennessee was completely outmatched and Jones needed to be dismissed?

Jones entered this season with stable job security in the minds of the administration and Currie, but it was a pivotal season for Jones to continue progressing the program. Jones went 3-0 in bowl games with the Vols.

Tennessee has never had a winless SEC record in 121 years playing football, but must beat LSU and Vanderbilt to prevent that from happening.

Yet the bad effort showed that the team had quit on Jones or didn't consider him a coach for whom to show its best effort.

Jones was under contract through February 2021.

In accordance with Section 3.1.1 of the Agreement, the University will pay you liquidated damages in the amount of Eight Million Two Hundred Fifty Seven Thousand Five Hundred Eighty Dollars and Zero Cents ($8,257,580.00), subject to all applicable state and federal tax and withholding requirements.

Jones' squad has been outscored 206-79 in six league games this season.

Injuries played a major role in Jones' demise. By the end of the Missouri game, Tennessee had only five available scholarship offensive linemen, including two true freshmen and two redshirt freshmen.

Jones' resume in Tennessee is more impressive than you might expect with the way the fans have run him out of town. In 2015, Tennessee lost to Florida, keeping the Vols from Atlanta.

Under Jones' watch, Tennessee's football program dramatically improved its Academic Progress Rate, which had been so low at the start of his tenure that the school was at risk of facing penalties. His record at the school is skewed by a 5-7 record in his first season, and a 4-6 finish this year. Attendance is at 98,090 so far this year. The suit was settled for $2.48 million in July 2016.

Hoke has been a head coach for 12 seasons, making stops at Ball State and San Diego State before arriving in Ann Arbor in 2011.

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