A lot of attention has been paid this week to former Nick Saban assistant Jeremy Pruitt going up against his old boss on Saturday when the Vols welcome No. 2 Alabama to Neyland Stadium.
Pruitt isn’t the only coach that will be coaching against his former school on Saturday, however. Butch Jones will be returning to Rocky Top to face the school he previously coached at. The only difference is Jones won’t actually be coaching.
“He’s an off-the-field coach for us,” Saban said during Wednesday’s SEC Teleconference when asked about Jones’ duties within Alabama’s football program. “He does a lot of things for me personally as a special assistant in terms of evaluating certain things on practice film and evaluating a lot of organizational things internally here.
“He’s done a really good job for me, and I really like having him be a part of our staff. He’s done a really good job.”
Jones was fired during the 2017 season with two games remaining in his fifth season on Rocky Top. He was 34-27 during his tenure at Tennessee, taking over for Derek Dooley in 2013. Jones was 14-24 against SEC opponents.
Following his firing in Knoxville, Saban brought Jones to Tuscaloosa as an intern for the Alabama football program. Jones is now in his third season with the Crimson Tide.
This Saturday will be the second time Jones has returned to Knoxville since he was fired, unless he doesn’t make the trip due to travel restrictions as a result of COVID-19. Alabama beat Tennessee 58-21 in his first trip back in 2018.
Kickoff between Tennessee (2-2) and No. 2 Alabama this Saturday is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS.