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lakeelmoleader.com November 21, 2017


Tennessee Fires Butch Jones; Hoke Is Interim Coach

13 November 2017, 01:57 | Marlene Fleming

LSU's next opponent, Tennessee, fires its head coach: report

Tennessee Vols set to take on potent Missouri offense in their final regular-season road contest of season

Butch Jones apparently isn't too interested in keeping the recruiting class he assembled in place at Tennessee.

According to Sports Illustrated's Bruce Feldman, Tennessee coach Butch Jones has been fired as the Vols head coach and informed his staff of the move on Sunday morning. Jones' firing comes one day after Tennessee (4-6, 0-6) fell 50-17 at Missouri for its fifth loss in its last six games. An inexplicable loss at SC previous year ruined Tennessee's division title hopes.

Defensive line coach Brady Hoke, the former University of MI head coach, will serve as UT's interim head coach for the last two games.

"An exhaustive search is underway for a person of the highest integrity and character with the skills and vision to propel Tennessee to championships. I know Coach Jones will be successful moving forward, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors". But with fan apathy growing and the reality that hanging onto Jones any longer would only make the situation worse, Currie made the decision to cut ties with Jones with regular-season games remaining. The liquidated damages will be paid in monthly installments through February 28, 2021.

Tennessee was not expected to win the SEC East, but they were projected to be competitive in the division with Georgia and Florida.

However, Jones was never able to take UT back to the SEC Championship game. Beginning conference play with a loss to rival Florida was certainly disappointing, but the Vols followed that up by barely beating UMass at home.

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

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.

If Tennessee wanted to wait until after the season to make a coaching change, the football team's lack of success made that an increasingly hard choice.

"I have tremendous respect for Coach Jones and for (Jones' wife) Barb", Currie said.

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.

Regardless of preseason projections, a 4-6 overall record and 0-6 mark in the SEC was not what anyone wanted to see in Knoxville.



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