Maybe the term "settles" is a little harsh but when your other candidates were Jon Gruden, Mike Gundy and Charlie Strong, it fits. By settling, it doesn't necessarily mean that this is a bad hire. In fact, I like this hire more than the last two that the Vols have made. Of course, the last two hires were Lane Kiffin and Derek Dooley so I'm not sure that's saying much.
Jones comes to Tennessee after three years at CMU (27-13) and three years at Cincinnati (23-14). Before becoming a head coach, the primary experience Jones had was at CMU and West Virginia. Jones played at Ferris State and hails from Saugatuck, Michigan.
Is it an odd pairing for the Vols? Maybe. He doesn't have any SEC experience on his resume. Is that a bad thing? I don't think it is. There are several other coaches who have been successful in the SEC without having any previous SEC coaching experience. Want a list? How bout Les Miles, Nick Saban, Urban Meyer and Mark Richt? Can you believe that all four of those coaches had zero SEC experience before being hired to be head coach in the SEC?
Just like any coach in the SEC, the ultimate success of Jones will be who he surrounds himself with and how quickly he can become an elite recruiter. Jones steps into a gig that right now is not a top tier SEC job but has the ability to be just that. Is Butch the right guy for the Vols? Only time will tell.
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