Butch Jones’ time as the Tennessee Vols head coach is slowly coming to a close.
Tennessee Vols head coach Butch Jones is on borrowed time right now.
If he’s the head coach in Knoxville next season, then I don’t know what to tell you.
In year five of the Butch Jones era, we know exactly what he is — a mediocre coach that will always average six to nine wins a year.
Tennessee deserves better than that. If the Vols want to ever contend for national championships again, then they have to go get a marquee coach. The program is in better shape in 2017 than it was in 2012, which makes hiring an elite coach a realistic possibility.
I have five names in my head that I think would excite fans. These are the guys that Tennessee needs to go after to show fans they’re serious about winning football games on Rocky Top.
Before we get to those five names, I need to rule out a few.
Don’t even bother with these names:
If we’re going to do this whole coaching search thing again, then we need to go ahead and get the silliness out of the way. Jon Gruden isn’t coming to Tennessee. Did he flirt with the idea a few years ago? Yeah, he’s admitted that. But he also recently said that he’ll never be a college coach. So let’s go ahead and rule that guy out. We can also forget about names like Dabo Swinney, David Shaw, Mike Gundy and anyone else that’s currently in a great situation.
Names that intrigue me, but probably would be more of the same:
If Tennessee is going to truly be great again, they need to go get a proven coach. That’s why if I’m John Currie I’m not hiring another “up-and-comer”. I’ll pass on Jeff Brohm and even Jim Bob Cooter. I’ll also pass on Tee Martin. Obviously I’d love to see him back at Tennessee, but Martin has only been an offensive coordinator for two years. I don’t think he’s ready to take over a program in the SEC as a head coach.
One wildcard, in my opinion, is PJ Fleck. I think he’s a good coach, but I’m not sure I’d be ready to hand him the Tennessee job. I need to see more from him before I can truly make a call on him.