KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee announced Friday morning that Butch Jones had agreed to become its fourth coach in six seasons, ending a tumultuous couple of days for both parties.
And for the Colorado Buffaloes.
”It is truly an honor and a privilege to be a part of the Vol Nation!” Jones, 44, tweeted Friday morning. The tweet ended days of speculation that included the much maligned University of Colorado football program.
It came just days after Jones publicly rejected an offer from the University of Colorado to fill the position that was made vacant when former head coach Jon Embree was fired this offseason.
The Buffaloes reportedly offered Jones a five-year contract worth $13.5 million on Monday. The offer he accepted from Tennessee — 6 years, $18 million — turned out to be much more lucrative.
Though several other reports surfaced on Thursday, claiming that Jones had turned down Colorado’s offer in favor of a better deal from his former school, the University of Cincinnati, that information turned out to be false.
So was the information provided by two Denver media outlets Wednesday night, both of which claimed that Jones was going to accept CU’s offer.
All this over a coach with a modest 50-27 record over his first six seasons as a head football coach.
Jones went 27-13 in three seasons at Central Michigan and was 23-14 at Cincinnati the last three years. He now faces the task of rebuilding a former Southeastern Conference power that has posted three consecutive losing seasons.
Tennessee went after at least two other candidates before hiring Jones. Meanwhile, Jones was apparently waiting for a job like the one at Tennessee.
Jones’ hiring means each of the four Southeastern Conference teams that fired coaches this year have filled their vacancies. The University of Colorado, meanwhile, is still looking.