Tennessee athletic director John Currie has officially confirmed former head football coach Butch Jones’ termination through an official statement on Sunday.
“I would like to emphasize how much I appreciate Butch and Barb Jones and their sons, Alex, Adam and Andrew,” the statement form Currie reads. “The Jones family has poured their heart and soul into this Tennessee football program and the Knoxville community. We have been fortunate to have Coach Jones lead our program for the last five years. During that time, the program has improved tremendously in the areas of academics, discipline and community involvement.”
“Unfortunately, we are not where we need to be competitively. For that reason, I have asked Coach Jones to step down as head football coach. I know Coach Jones will be successful moving forward, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”
Currie also confirmed that former Michigan head coach and current Tennessee defensive line coach Brady Hoke will serve as the team’s interim coach for its final two games against LSU and Vanderbilt.
Jones finished 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 the 2017 season 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.
The Vols will host LSU on Saturday and Vanderbilt the following week during the final two games of their regular season.