Butch Jones' time as Tennessee football coach is over

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Butch Jones has been on the hot seat for several weeks with Tennessee, and it appears the Vols have finally chose to move in another direction.

After reports of Butch Jones' exit as Tennessee's coach surfaced Sunday morning, the school announced a "coaching transition" that confirmed the fifth-year Vols' coach is out, effective immediately.

The move comes after Tennessee's 50-17 loss to Mizzou on Saturday night. The team also lost to SC and Kentucky (just their second loss to the Wildcats in 33 years) before getting a non-conference respite against Southern Miss.

Defensive line coach Brady Hoke, the former head coach at MI, will serve as UT's interim coach for the remainder of the season.

"An exhaustive search is underway for a person of the highest integrity and character with the skills and vision to propel Tennessee to championships", Currie said.

Hoke has a 78-70 combined record as a head coach, and he went 11-2 and reached the Sugar Bowl in his first year at MI.

"I know Vol Nation will rally around this team and support our student-athletes as they complete the remainder of this season", Currie said in the statement.

Jones was under contract through February 28, 2021. Butch Jones is out, and Brady Hoke will finish out the year calling the shots for the Vols.

Tennessee hasn't reached the SEC championship game since 2007 and hasn't won a conference title since its 1998 national championship season.

Jones guided Tennessee to back-to-back nine-win seasons in 2015 and 2016, but was just 3-9 in his last 12 SEC games dating to last season. He struggled to get the Vols on table footing in SEC competition, posting a 14-24 record against conference foes and was unable to get the program over the hump against rival Florida, Georgia and Alabama consistently. He'll be owed a buyout in excess of $8 million, although he's required to seek comparable employment to mitigate the damages. Jones has three. Lane Kiffin, whose only season was 2009, has one.

Under Jones' watch, Tennessee's football program dramatically improved its Academic Progress Rate, which had been so low at the start of his tenure that the school was at risk of facing penalties.

Hoke took over as the defensive line coach for the Volunteers this season after spending last season as the defensive coordinator at Oregon. He coached three seasons each at Central Michigan and Cincinnati before coming to Tennessee.

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