Butch Jones' time as Tennessee football coach is over

Butch Jones' time as Tennessee football coach is over

Butch Jones' time as Tennessee football coach is over

Reports indicate Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones has been fired from the University of Tennessee. The move has seemed nearly inevitable for weeks. He's owed about $8.25 million in buyout money, according to the terms of his contract, although he's required to seek comparable employment to mitigate the damages.

Tennessee made the decision following a 50-17 loss to the Missouri Tigers.

BC-FBC-Tennessee-Jones Out, 136 Butch Jones out as Tennessee's football coachAP Photo MOJR106Eds: APNewsNow.

Tennessee hasn't reached the SEC championship game since 2007 and hasn't won a conference title since its 1998 national championship season.

Tennessee is winless in SEC conference play this year, including at Kentucky, just their second loss to the wildcats in the last 33 years.

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Under Jones, the Vols didn't achieve the success they experienced in the 1990s.

Jones stabilized a rocky program, but Tennessee's regression in Year 5 has been startling, losing all six SEC games and facing the real possibility of missing a bowl game for the fourth time in eight years.

Fans who loved Jones' constant references to the "Brick by Brick" approach of building a program when he first arrived at Tennessee started to mock his frequent use of clichés and catchphrases. Tennessee lost at Vanderbilt later that week, and the "champions of life" remark turned into an internet meme.

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.

Yet the awful effort showed that the team had quit on Jones or didn't consider him a coach for whom to show its best effort. During that time, the program has improved tremendously in the areas of academics, discipline and community involvement.

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