Tennessee coach Butch Jones has received a raise and an extension, athletics director Dave Hart confirmed on Monday morning, just one day after the Vols were selected to play in the TaxSlayer Bowl against Iowa on Jan. 2.
The contract extension is for two years, extending Jones’ agreement with the University through 2020, and will get a raise from approximately $3 million per year to $3.6 million per season. Jones will also receive additional money to pay his coaching staff.
“When you are rebuilding a program, you face many challenges in order to change the culture,” said Hart. “A tireless effort is required from the entire organization. The most critical piece of the puzzle is leadership, and we have the right man leading our football program. Butch Jones has reenergized our fans base and is an outstanding ambassador for our university.
“He and his staff have recruited at a very high level in an effort to restock our talent base, and we have made great strides academically since his arrival. He possesses a unique skill set, and I value our relationship personally and professionally.”
According to the most updated figures, Jones now becomes the sixth-highest paid head coach in the SEC and his yearly contract surpasses the likes of Art Briles (Baylor), Jimbo Fisher (Florida State), Mark Helfrich (Oregon) and David Shaw (Stanford).
Jones is 11-13 in his career in Knoxville, but, as Hart said, has helped the program in terms of recruiting, attendance, public perception, academics and has substantially increased the young talent base on the team, getting the Vols to a January bowl this year despite playing one of the toughest schedules in the nation with one of the youngest rosters in the nation.
“I am very honored and grateful to be the head football coach at the University of Tennessee, and I understand what this program represents,” said Jones. “This has been a complete team effort as we continue to rebuild and restore the Tennessee football program to the standards and expectations that we all have. I’m extremely appreciative to Dave Hart, Chancellor Cheek, and our entire administration for all the support they have given us, and I am also thankful for the loyal support from the best and most passionate fan base in the nation.”
Hart said he had not been contacted by Michigan or any other schools about the possibility of talking to Jones. Jones, a Michigan native, had been commonly linked to the Wolverines’ opening even before the firing of head coach Brady Hoke became official.
“It was never a distraction,” Jones said. “But again it’s nice to be able to prepare our football team, developing our program out on the recruiting end. It’s just closure on a lot of things and now we can focus on the things that we need to focus on.”