Butch Jones Hired as Tennessee Volunteers Head Coach

Daniel HudsonCorrespondent IIIDecember 7, 2012

Nov 3, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Butch Jones reacts during the first half against the Syracuse Orange at Nippert Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Volunteers have found their new football coach: Butch Jones. Nineteen days after firing Derek Dooley, who went 15-21 in three years with the Vols, Jones now enters as the 23rd head coach of Tennessee.

Reports began surfacing last night that the job was Jones' if he wanted it, and earlier today, it became apparent that he did.

After getting two rejections from Mike Gundy and Charlie Strong on Wednesday, it's a welcome sound for Vol fans to hear the word "yes" from a coach.

Butch Jones brings a 50-27 record as a head coach with him to Knoxville. In six years at the helm of Central Michigan and Cincinnati, Jones has taken his teams to five bowls and won four conference championships.

Known by many as an offensive disciple of Notre Dame's Brian Kelly, Jones took over for him in 2007 at Central Michigan and again in 2010 at Cincinnati. But the pattern ends with Jones signing on with Tennessee.

Jones had considered offers from Colorado, Purdue and Kentucky but kept clearly kept the Vols in the back of his mind. It's the job he wanted. It's the job he got.

Two questions now loom for the beginning of the Butch Jones Era: 1) Can he recruit the kind of players it takes to succeed in the SEC, and 2) who will he retain/hire as assistants?

He might be able to answer those two questions at one time by retaining current coaches like Jay Graham and Sam Pittman, while hiring other great recruiters, especially on defense.

There's also steady rumbling on Rocky Top of a Tee Martin return. (Talk about a quick way for Jones to earn the love of the fanbase.)

If Jones can answer those questions and turn out a solid 2013 recruiting class, it will be a solid start to a new, hopefully more fruitful era of Volunteers football.

Ladies and gentlemen, Butch Jones.

Find out more about Coach Jones here.