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13 November 2017, 01:55 | Nina Mathis
UPDATE: Butch Jones' time as Tennessee football coach is over
Butch Jones clearly had a short leash, a scalding hot seat or whatever the preferred phrase is for a coach who will be unemployed soon.
Coming off back-to-back 9-4 seasons, Tennessee was unable to sustain an upward trajectory and is now 4-6 overall and 0-6 in the Southeastern Conference following the loss to Missouri.
Tennessee has fired Butch Jones after the Volunteers were blown out in a 50-17 loss at Missouri on Saturday, according to reports.
"Late last night it was evident this was probably the direction we needed to go for the best of all concerned", Currie said at a Sunday press conference. We wanted our student-athletes to have the best possible chance for success. Jones was in his fifth year as the coach of the Vols. "But we are in this position, and now we move forward".
Jones went 34-27 during his tenure as Tennessee's coach. He led the Vols to a Top 25 finish each of the last two years before the program took a giant step backward this fall. The Vols haven't won a SEC title since 1998, which was also the year Tennessee won the national championship under coach Philip Fulmer. Currie said he was looking for someone "with the highest integrity and character, with the skills and vision to propel Tennessee to championships". "Our coach needs to know what that looks like".
Jones was under contract through February 28, 2021. He'll be owed a buyout in excess of $8 million, although he's required to seek comparable employment to mitigate the damages.
Jones was sacked Sunday before completing his fifth season. Jones has three. Lane Kiffin, whose only season was 2009, has one. He struggled to get the Vols on table footing in SEC competition, posting a 14-24 record against conference foes and was unable to get the program over the hump against rival Florida, Georgia and Alabama consistently.
Tennessee (4-6, 0-6) managed just 285 total yards.
Then everything went south this year.
Tennessee started the season 3-1 but has lost five of its last six games. The Vols followed up that Georgia defeat by losing four of their next five games. Ever since back-to-back home losses to Georgia and SC earlier this season, it has seemed likely that Tennessee would move in a different direction at the end of the year.
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