Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones and the UT administration are working on an extension with a raise, according to a report.
Football Scoop first sent out the report via Twitter on Monday afternoon, and this came a day after Tennessee Athletic Director Dave Hart was announced to be holding a press conference on December 1st between appearances by head basketball coach Rick Barnes and Jones.
At Tennessee, sources tell FootballScoop the administration is working on an extension (w raise) for Butch Jones https://t.co/sNnVtycOD5
— FootballScoop Staff (@FootballScoop) November 30, 2015
Jones and the Vols agreed to an extension and raise after the 2014 season that raised his salary to $3.6 million a year and ran through 2020 after a 7-6 season and Tennessee’s first bowl appearance since 2010 and first bowl victory since 2007.
This season, the Vols earned an 8-4 regular season record and seem poised to receive a bid to a very good bowl game. The Vols began the season 2-3 after disappointing and heart-breaking losses to Oklahoma, Florida and Arkansas, but then Tennessee defeated then No. 19 Georgia, lost a one-score game to No. 8 Alabama, then went on a five-game winning streak to end the season. Tennessee’s eight wins are the most the Vols have won in the regular season since winning nine in 2007, and it was the first time the Vols had beaten Georgia since 2009.
Coming into the 2015 season, Jones was the ninth-highest paid head coach in the SEC with his $3.6 million annual salary, tied with Kentucky’s Mark Stoops and just slightly behind Auburn’s Gus Malzahn. It’s unclear how much the raise and extension would be, but even a slight boost to the $4 million range would put Jones above Arkansas’s Bret Bielema. Steve Spurrier and Mark Richt were both making $4 million a year at their respective schools, but now those jobs are open and will likely pay their newest head coaches a lower salary.
It’s arguable whether or not Jones has earned a raise and extension after the type of season the Vols had, but it may be more of a case of the market dictating the move rather than performance demanding it. With so many head coaching positions coming open this season and with the wide-open nature of the SEC East next season, the Vols may be forced to spend more money on Jones and his staff to make sure everyone remains locked down that the university wants to keep.
Hart will address the media on Tuesday at around noon, and there’s a chance the topic will be about Jones and a contract extension. Check RockyTopInsider.com for more updates on Tuesday.