Multiple news outlets are reporting that Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones informed his players today that he has been fired as their coach.
Defensive line coach Brady Hoke will reportedly serve as the interim head coach for the last two games of the season as the Vols try to become bowl eligible.
The move comes after Tennessee’s 50-17 loss to Mizzou on Saturday night. That loss moved Tennessee to 0-6 in the conference and 4-6 overall.
Tennessee hosts LSU on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Neyland Stadium.
With the loss to the Tigers, the Vols now have an active losing streak to every team in the SEC.
Jones was hired to coach the Volunteers in December 2012, following the team’s three losing seasons under Derek Dooley. Prior to his stint at Tennessee, Jones was the head coach at the University of Cincinnati from 2010 to 2012. He was also the head coach at Central Michigan from 2007 to 2009.
The Ferris State alum ends his tenure at Tennessee with a 34-27 record overall, and a 14-24 mark against SEC opponents. Jones was 0-13 at Tennessee against teams ranked in the top ten – and the Vols were outscored 491 to 183 in those 13 games.
The Vols had several signature wins under Jones, including thrilling come-from-behind victories over Georgia in 2015 and Florida in 2016, as well as a last-second defeat of Georgia in 2016 on a Hail Mary by senior quarterback Josh Dobbs. He also led the Vols to three consecutive bowls from 2014-2016.
Unfortunately for Jones, his time at Tennessee was also marred by an array of bad losses, including a 24-21 defeat at the hands of South Carolina in 2016 and a 45-34 loss to Vanderbilt later that season. The loss to Vanderbilt in Nashville cost the Vols a berth in the Sugar Bowl.
Jones did find success on the recruiting trail. His first class was ranked 21st in the nation, but he was able to sign the fifth-best classes in 2014 and 2015, according to VolQuest.com. He followed that with the 15th-best classes in the country in both 2016 and 2017. The Volunteers currently hold the seventh-best recruiting class for 2018, although it will be up to Jones’ replacement to hold those recruits for next season.
A variety of names have been thrown around to replace Jones as the 24th coach of the Volunteers, including former Oregon head coach Chip Kelly, Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm, Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino and Memphis head coach Mike Norvell.
Jones ends his time in Knoxville without a win over Alabama’s Nick Saban or Will Muschamp during Muschamp’s stints at Florida and South Carolina.
Jones’ record against each SEC school during his tenure in Knoxville is as follows.
Mississippi State 0-0
Ole Miss 0-1
Texas A&M 0-1
South Carolina 3-2