U-Tennessee Sacks Saugatuck's Butch Jones as Grid Coach

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Butch Jones is out at Tennessee.

Athletic director John Currie said defensive line coach Brady Hoke would serve as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.

The decision was made Sunday, a day after Tennessee was blown out 50-17 at Missouri, the Vols' fifth loss in their last six games. The team also lost to SC and Kentucky (just their second loss to the Wildcats in 33 years) before getting a non-conference respite against Southern Miss.

Brady Hoke, who spent four mostly unsuccessful years as the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines, is getting another shot at running things for a college football team.

"An exhaustive search is underway for a person of the highest integrity and character with the skills and vision to propel Tennessee to championships", Currie said. The liquidated damages will be paid in monthly installments through February 28, 2021. How clear could it be that Tennessee was completely outmatched and Jones needed to be dismissed? The Vols were just 5-15 under Jones against AP-ranked opponents and 3-12 against Alabama, Florida and Georgia, their three biggest annual rivals.

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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. According to the letter of dismissal Currie sent Sunday, the school owes Jones a buyout of $8.26 million. But during an injury-plagued 2016 season, the Vols were unable to capitalize on early season wins over Florida and Georgia and lost games to SC and Vanderbilt late in the season to squander a chance to play in their first SEC championship game since 2007, Phillip Fulmer's next-to-last season.

Jones' resume in Tennessee is more impressive than you might expect with the way the fans have run him out of town. Jones has three. Lane Kiffin, whose only season was 2009, has one. "The Jones family has poured their heart and soul into this Tennessee football program and the Knoxville community".

Tennessee's regular-season defeat at Vandy also dashed the chance for the school to go to its first Sugar Bowl in 25 years.

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. He coached three seasons each at Central Michigan and Cincinnati before coming to Tennessee.

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