Tennessee fired Butch Jones a month and a half ago. Now he could be in play for another Power Five school as a head coach.
According to Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports, Jones could be in consideration for the latest head coaching vacancy in college football. Arizona, somewhat surprisingly, fired head coach Rich Rodriguez on Tuesday. Rodriguez had been with the Wildcats for six seasons and just went through a 7-6 season.
Would not be surprised if #Arizona AD Dave Heeke gives strong consideration to Butch Jones for the Zona HC vacancy. Heeke worked closely with him at CMU and have heard he loves Jones.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) January 3, 2018
Arizona decided to part ways with Rodriguez after allegations of misconduct. He went 43-35 in his six seasons with the Wildcats and had gone 17-21 in his last three seasons after going 26-14 in his first three seasons there.
Jones coached under Rodriguez at West Virginia from 2005-06. Jones served as Rodriguez’s wide receivers coach. He left after the 2006 season to become the head coach at Central Michigan in 2007. And David Heeke, the current Athletics Director at Arizona, was the AD at Central Michigan who hired Jones back then.
The Vols suffered their worst season in program history under Jones this year. He was fired with two games remaining in the 2017 season and had earned a 34-27 overall record with Tennessee in his four-plus seasons. He was just 14-24 in SEC play during that span, however.
Jones’ buyout total for being fired without cause before his contract ended was $8,257,580. If he is able to land a job somewhere else this offseason, his buyout will be mitigated.