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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Why is it that anyone or anything coming out of the Big East is automatically tainted or second rate? Butch Jones is a successful coach who deserves an opportunity to prove his worth.
@29sonski Is that comment in response to this article or in response to the Vols fans reaction to the hire?
@CFBZ It's a general comment. Why would an apologetic post be needed if it weren't the case?
Jones has earned respect elsewhere.
Tennessee had come up empty in the hiring process thus far despite canning Derek Dooley before the end of the regular season. The Vols could do much worse than Butch Jones.
@CFBZ Yep ... that's what I mean.
@29sonski Six straight National Titles is hard to argue with.
@CFBZ LOL! Definitely! ... except people virtually everywhere else call it the SEC superiority complex.
@29sonski I think that's just the Big East inferiority complex kicking in.
@CFBZ How to put this concisely...? The sense of entitlement is really annoying to me today.
@29sonski I agree that Gruden and Gundy weren't necessarily "serious" candidates but it seemed like Tennessee portrayed them as serious or at least went after them which set the expectations for the hire too high. I think it will be a moot point because Tennessee isn't going to be playing any football for quite a while but it will be interesting to see how the fanbase reacts if he gets off to a slow start. The SEC East is going to be a tough hill to climb with Florida, Georgia and USCe firmly entrenched as the top three right now.
@CFBZ I don't believe Gruden was a serious candidate, or Gundy for that matter. The former is having too much fun on TV; the latter has it very good at his alma mater.
I understand that Vols fans would like to have a more high profile name, but stop judging negatively just because of his previous coaching jobs. Urban Meyer and Nick Saban one coached in the MAC. They earned their way up; Jones deserves the same opportunity.
@29sonski It's nice to be big and bold in the coaching search but in today's media (where everything is leaked and/or impossible to keep private) when you go big (i.e. Gruden, Gundy) and then come up with a coach who doesn't have their reputation in the eyes of the general public you are almost setting yourself up for failure.
Is it better if you just eliminate "pie in the sky" candidates? If Butch Jones was the first guy that the Vols targeted and he was their guy from the beginning I wonder how it would have been perceived publicly. Probably a bit better.
Like I said in the article, I think this is a better hire than the last two. Jones is a proven winner, unlike the last two hires, and has a track record of doing it at two jobs, unlike the last two hires. I don't think it's a homer run but like you said, the Vols could do much worse than Jones because they already have.