Tennessee football is in the market for a new coach.
The University officially parted ways with Butch Jones on Sunday market after five seasons at the helm of the program.
Vice Chancellor/Director of Athletics John Currie confirmed in a statement that Brady Hoke would be the interim coach for the final two games of the season.
“We have been fortunate to have Coach Jones lead our program for the last five years,” Currie said in a released statement. “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.”
Tennessee was 34-27 during Jones’ tenure in Knoxville – including three-straight bowl wins.
After a lackluster ending to the regular season in 2016, 2017 didn’t go any better for the Vols under Jones.
Tennessee is currently 4-6 on the season, but 0-6 in SEC play. With two games remaining, the Vols must win out to qualify for a bowl game, and win one of two to keep from being the first team in program history to lose eight games.
Jones will receive a buyout just over eight million dollars – which can be mitigated if he finds another coaching job. Currie noted during Sunday’s press conference that total buyouts for the coaching staff could reach 13 million dollars.
The search for Tennessee’s 25th head coach is underway.
“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. “This search will be my sole focus, and I will be in regular contact with Chancellor Davenport. I want to make clear that we are intensely committed to hiring the best coach for Tennessee.”
During a Sunday afternoon press conference, Currie noted he did not intend to use a search firm.