Butch Jones out as head football coach at Tennessee - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Butch Jones out as head football coach at Tennessee

Butch Jones reacts to a play against Georgia on Sept. 30. (AP Photo) Butch Jones reacts to a play against Georgia on Sept. 30. (AP Photo)

Butch Jones, the 24th head football coach in school history, was relieved from duty by the university. He informed his staff during a meeting Sunday morning. Sources have confirmed that Brady Hoke, the defensive line coach, will take over as interim head coach.

John Currie, the Director of Athletics at Tennessee, released the following statement:

"I would like to emphasize how much I appreciate Butch and Barb Jones and their sons, Alex, Adam and Andrew. 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 added that there is an "exhaustive search" underway to find a new head coach.

Jones, hired on Dec. 5, 2012, led the Volunteers to a 34-27 record through Saturday’s game at Missouri. Jones took the Vols to three-straight bowl games, winning all three. But he could never get UT back to the SEC Championship game, something no coach since Phillip Fulmer has been able to do in Knoxville.

Jones was 0-13 against Top 10 teams as UT's head coach and his combined record against Florida, Georgia and Alabama was 3-12.

The Vols will now search for their fourth head football coach in the last nine years.

The Volunteers began the 2017 season ranked in the top 25 for the second straight season, reaching as high as No. 23 before a 26-20 loss at Florida. Tennessee continued to receive votes after the loss and a 17-13 win over Massachusetts.

The Volunteers followed with five straight losses to conference opponents Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky and Missouri. Tennessee started the SEC season 0-6 for the fourth time since 2010.

Tennessee played 15 straight quarters without scoring an offensive touchdown in SEC losses to Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama. The Volunteers scored in the second quarter of the win over Massachusetts and didn’t score another offensive touchdown until the second quarter against Kentucky.

Jones had been under more heat after senior offensive lineman Brett Kendrick said he suffered a concussion during the Kentucky game on Oct. 28.

Jones denied reports by TheReadOptional.com that indicated that the coaching staff allowed Kendrick to continue to play while knowing he had a concussion.

"We would never ever knowingly put a student-athlete in harm's way," Jones said. "Our medical staff has full authority on removing players from competition but also in the return-to-play decisions. I have absolutely no say in those decisions."

Antone Davis, a former All-America offensive lineman at Tennessee, resigned his position as Vol For Life coordinator. He has served in the position since August 2012.

Tennessee advanced to three bowl games in his first four seasons at the helm of the Volunteers, winning all three against Big 10 opponents.

The Vols started the 2017 season with a two overtime win over Georgia Tech in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

UT has not played for an SEC title since 2007. The Vols haven't won an SEC title since 1998.

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