Butch Jones’ name hasn’t been tied to many jobs since Tennessee fired him back on November 12th of last year. But now his name has emerged for a job, and it may surprise you.
According to a report from AL.com, Butch Jones has been in talks with Nick Saban about joining his staff at Alabama. Jones wouldn’t be an on-field coach per the report and would, instead, be in an offensive analyst role should he be hired on. The report also states that Jones was in Tuscaloosa to meet with Saban face-to-face.
Alabama is looking to replace some of their off-field assistants who have been hired away at other programs this offseason. The Vols hired Chris Weinke to be their running backs coach, Dan Werner was hired as South Carolina’s quarterbacks coach, and both William Vlachos and Shea Tierney are now in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills.
Jones hasn’t been an off-field coach since he served as a graduate assistant for Rutgers from 1990-92. He’s been an on-field coach at every job he’s had since then. The Vols fired Jones in November with two games left in the 2017 season, and they owe him approximately $8.2 million in buyout money. Any compensation he receives from his next job will mitigate that buyout.
Tennessee, of course, hired Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt to replace Jones as head coach of the Vols.
Jones was 34-27 overall as the Vols’ head coach and had just a 14-24 conference record. Tennessee had their worst season in program history under Jones in 2017, going 4-8 overall and 0-8 in SEC play. Jones is credited with a 4-6 record and 0-6 SEC mark for last season. He never defeated Alabama while coaching the Vols.