Tennessee has reportedly fired head football coach Butch Jones, according to FOX Sports’ Bruce Feldman. Jones reportedly informed his staff that he is no longer the Vols’ head coach early Sunday morning, sources confirmed to Feldman.
WNML’s Jimmy Hyams reported that Jones declined the opportunity to coach Tennessee’s last two games, according to a source.
Jones finishes his career in Knoxville with a 34-27 (14-24 SEC) record. He led Tennessee to bowl game victories during the last three seasons, but entered 2017 on the hot seat after failing to meet last year’s preseason expectations of winning the SEC East.
However, he never managed to help his case during a tumultuous 2017 season. The Vols lost 50-17 to Missouri on Saturday night and are currently on a losing streak against every conference opponent.
Tennessee’s other lapses this season include a heartbreaking loss in Gainesville on a last second Hail Mary, barely surviving a close game against winless UMass, a 41-0 home blowout loss against Georgia, a 15-9 loss to South Carolina, a 45-7 rout at Alabama and losing their second game to Kentucky in 33 years.
Jones addressed questions about his future and the team’s final two games during his postgame press conference on Saturday.
“The message is the same,” Jones said. “We have two games left. And it’s all about this football team and how we finish. We work exceptionally hard every single day, and it’s very disappointing when you invest the way you invest each and every day to win on Saturdays. And that’s what it’s all about.
“It’s about these seniors. It’s about these players. It ain’t about the coach. It ain’t about nothing else. It’s about our players and it’s about our seniors. And again, how do we finish? Another great challenge Saturday night at Neyland against LSU, a great opportunity.”
The Vols will host LSU on Saturday at Neyland Stadium. Former Michigan coach and current Tennessee defensive line coach Brady Hoke will serve as interim head coach.