Butch Jones

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Butch Jones
Sport(s) Football
Current position
Title Head coach
Team Tennessee
Conference SEC
Record 21–17
Annual salary US$4.1 million
Biographical details
Born (1968-01-17) January 17, 1968 (age 48)
Saugatuck, Michigan[1]
Alma mater Ferris State University
Playing career
1987–1989 Ferris State
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1987–1989 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (intern)
1990–1992 Rutgers (GA)
1993–1994 Wilkes (OC)
1995 Ferris State (RB)
1996–1997 Ferris State (OC)
1998 Central Michigan (TE)
1999 Central Michigan (WR)
2000 Central Michigan (RB)
2001–2003 Central Michigan (OC)
2004 Central Michigan (RB)
2005–2006 West Virginia (WR)
2007–2009 Central Michigan
2010–2012 Cincinnati
2013–present Tennessee
Head coaching record
Overall 71–44
Bowls 3–2
Accomplishments and honors
2 MAC (2007, 2009)
2 Big East (2011, 2012)

Lyle Allen "Butch" Jones, Jr. (born January 17, 1968) is the head football coach of the University of Tennessee. He previously coached at the University of Cincinnati from 2010 to 2012 and Central Michigan University (CMU) from 2007 to 2009. A Michigan native, he played college football at Ferris State University.

Assistant coaching career[edit]

As a college senior, Jones interned for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and then earned a job as a defensive assistant at Rutgers University right out of college in 1990. Two years later, he took a job as offensive coordinator at Wilkes University, helping to guide the team deep into the Division III playoffs. In 1995, he returned to his alma mater, Ferris State, to serve in the offensive coordinator role. His offensive acumen was clear as he led Ferris State to the top-ranked offense nationally for three straight years. He arrived at CMU in 1998, coaching tight ends for one year, running backs for two more, and finally called the plays on offense from 2002 to 2004. He left the school in 2005 to work for Rich Rodriguez and coach wide receivers at West Virginia University, helping to lead the school to back-to-back top 10 seasons.[2]

Central Michigan[edit]

Jones returned to Central Michigan as head coach in 2007. In his first year he posted an 8–5 overall record and a 7–1 conference record. Jones ended two streaks that had haunted his predecessors. On September 29, 2007, CMU beat Northern Illinois University, which was the first CMU victory over Northern Illinois going back to 1998. On November 6, 2007, CMU beat its chief rival, Western Michigan, at its home field of Waldo Stadium for the first time since 1993. He guided CMU to the MAC title at Ford Field in Detroit against Miami (Ohio), and led the team to its second consecutive Motor City Bowl. He was only the ninth football coach in Mid-American Conference history to win the championship in his first season. In 2008, a 31–24 loss to Ball State on Nov. 19 derailed the Chippewas' MAC title hopes, but CMU earned a trip to a third consecutive Motor City Bowl. In 2009 he guided the Chippewas to their third MAC Championship in four years after an 8–0 MAC schedule, the first time in school history the Chippewas went undefeated in the MAC. CMU completed its run with a 20–10 win against Ohio in the MAC title game at Ford Field. He left CMU with a 27–13 overall record and 20–3 MAC record. He did not win a bowl game, though his team won the 2009 bowl game against Troy, 44–41.


On December 16, 2009, Jones was named head coach at the University of Cincinnati.[1] He replaced Brian Kelly, who left to become head coach at Notre Dame.[3] Jones had previously replaced Kelly at Central Michigan.[4]

Jones led the Bearcats to records of 4–8 in 2010 and 10–3 in 2011, including a Big East championship, a Liberty Bowl victory (31–24 over Vanderbilt), and he was named Big East Coach of the Year. Also in 2011, Cincinnati was the only program to win both its conference championship as well as the league's team academic award.

He led the Bearcats to a 9–3 regular season record in 2012, leading them to the Belk Bowl in Charlotte to play against Duke University. Twenty days prior to the bowl game, on December 7, 2012, Jones announced to the team that he would be resigning to accept the job as head coach at the University of Tennessee, after declining offers from Colorado, Purdue, and others. He is required to pay $1.4 million to buy out his Cincinnati contract extension, signed on January 23, 2012, that went through the 2017 season.


On December 7, 2012, Jones was introduced as the head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers, replacing coach Derek Dooley. He is the school's 23rd head football coach.

He made his coaching debut on August 31, 2013 in Neyland Stadium against the FCS Austin Peay Governors, resulting in a 45–0 Tennessee victory.[5] Tennessee earned its 800th victory in program history and became only the eighth school in the nation to reach that plateau after Michigan, Texas, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Alabama.

On October 19, 2013 in Neyland Stadium, Jones led the Vols to a win over the eleventh-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks. This was widely considered Jones' first signature win. Jones' second signature win came on November 1, 2014 at Williams-Brice Stadium against the South Carolina Gamecocks. The Vols trailed 42–28 with 5 minutes remaining and came back to win 45–42 in overtime.

With the youngest roster in the FBS in 2014, Jones and the Vols finished the season with a record of 6–6 with bowl eligibility – the best regular season record and the first bowl game appearance the team has had since 2010.

On January 2, 2015, Jones led Tennessee to their first bowl win since 2007, in the Taxslayer Bowl.[6]

During the 2015 season, Jones finally beat (then ranked 19th) Georgia after five years of trying to defeat the Bulldogs. In most of the first half the Vols trailed 24–3, until Tennessee came back and put up 28 unanswered points late in the second quarter and all through the third quarter. The Vols won 38–31, giving Jones his third signature win. To conclude the 2015 season, Jones's Vols trounced the Northwestern Wildcats by a score of 45–6 on January 1, 2016 in the Outback Bowl.

Personal life[edit]

Jones and his wife, Barbara, have three sons—Alex, Adam, and Andrew.[1]

Jones is a friend of the Miami Heat's head basketball coach Erik Spoelstra. On August 14, 2013, ESPN reported that Spoelstra spoke to the Tennessee football team in Knoxville.[7]

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Central Michigan Chippewas (Mid-American Conference) (2007–2009)
2007 Central Michigan 8–6 7–1 1st (West) L Motor City
2008 Central Michigan 8–5 6–2 T–2nd (West) L Motor City
2009 Central Michigan 11–2 8–0 1st (West) GMAC* 24 23
Central Michigan: 27–13 20–3 * Did not coach bowl game
Cincinnati Bearcats (Big East Conference) (2010–2012)
2010 Cincinnati 4–8 2–5 7th
2011 Cincinnati 10–3 5–2 T–1st W Liberty 21 25
2012 Cincinnati 9–3 5–2 T–1st Belk* 22
Cincinnati: 23–14 12–9 * Did not coach bowl game
Tennessee Volunteers (Southeastern Conference) (2013–present)
2013 Tennessee 5–7 2–6 6th (East)
2014 Tennessee 7–6 3–5 T–4th (East) W TaxSlayer
2015 Tennessee 9–4 5–3 T–2nd (East) W Outback 23 22
Tennessee: 21–17 10–14
Total: 71–44
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
Indicates Bowl Coalition, Bowl Alliance, BCS, or CFP / New Years' Six bowl.
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


External links[edit]