Butch Jones out as Tennessee's head coach, search for replacement underway

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A native of Saugatuck, Jones was hired to coach the Volunteers in December 2012, following the team's three losing seasons under Derek Dooley.

Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports reported on Sunday that Jones has informed his staff he is being let go.

After reports of Butch Jones' exit as Tennessee's coach surfaced Sunday morning, the school announced a "coaching transition" that confirmed the fifth-year Vols' coach is out, effective immediately. After back-to-back 9-4 seasons under Jones, the Volunteers were just 4-6 this year and lost 50-17 at Missouri on Saturday.

Jones' contract runs through March 2021, and per the terms of his buyout, is owed $2.5 million times the number of years remaining on his deal, meaning his buyout would be somewhere in the $8 million range. That placed Tennessee 0-6 in the conference and 4-6 overall.

Jones' five-year record was 35-26 overall and 14-24 in the SEC.

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Tennessee last won an SEC championship in 1998, the same year the Vols won the national championship with an unbeaten 13-0 record.

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 SC in 2016 and a 45-34 loss to Vanderbilt later that season. The Bulldogs may have been even better than most predicted going into the season, while the Gators were also a disappointment that resulted in the firing of head coach Jim McElwain.

Tennessee, which opened the season ranked 25th, has lost its first six SEC games by an average margin of 21.2 points.

Yet the bad effort showed that the team had quit on Jones or didn't consider him a coach for whom to show its best effort. Jones was making $4.11 million per year at Tennessee. That stretch includes a 41-0 loss to Georgia that marked the Vols' most lopsided home defeat since 1905. Hoke has a career coaching record of 78-70 between three jobs with Ball State, San Diego State and MI. Butch Jones is out as the head coach of the Vols, and Brady Hoke is officially the interim coach for the remainder of the season.

The 59-year-old Hoke has head coaching experience at Ball State (six years), San Diego State (two years) and MI (four years), and after his dismissal at MI after the 2014 season, Hoke was out of coaching for a year before spending the 2016 season as Oregon's defensive coordinator.

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