Butch Jones ready to get started on "dream job" with the Vols

8:09 PM, Dec 7, 2012   |    comments
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At a press conference Friday afternoon, former University of Cincinnati head coach Butch Jones, 44,  was introduced as the new head coach at the University of Tennessee.

Coach Jones, fresh off a meeting with his new players and already sporting an orange tie, started by introducing his family: his wife, Barb, and three sons, Alex, 16, Adam, 12, and Andrew, 5.  He joked that Andrew was already committed to the University of Tennessee, starting the press conference with a laugh.

He then got down to business, saying "It's truly an honor to be your football coach." and called it a wonderful opportunity to lead the best college football program in America.

Jones promised they were going to do "special things" on this team.  He outlined his goals, to build on the legacy and tradition that already exists at UT, and work to be champions everyday. He acknowledged that the expectations were high, but said that was okay, he has the same expectations as the fans- to be champions.

He said to win on the field, you first have to win off the field.  He said he would emphasize that his players do good first in the classroom and the community.

He's already thinking about his coaching staff, though he didn't go into specifics about any names.  He said he wanted to hire coaches with character, that were great leaders in the game of life and football, were good motivators, and had passion for the game.

He also said he planned to have an open-door policy for letter winners, calling former players the "foundation" of UT's legacy, and said he looked forward to getting to know many of them.  He even joked about a text he received from former Vol and current Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning 4 days ago, trying to convince him to go to Colorado.  He said he wanted to reply that he'd rather go to Tennessee!

The new coach gave a nod to his predecessor, thanking Derek Dooley for laying the foundation for the future at UT.

Jones said his staff would win Tennessee when it came to recruiting, meaning they would focus efforts on getting Tennessee players to play for Tennessee. 

He didn't promise instant results, saying "inches make champions," and while he didn't know how long it would take to get there, Tennessee would be on top again.

He ended his prepared statements by echoing one of General Neyland's game maxims, "I will give my all for Tennessee today."

Jones then began taking questions from a large crowd of reporters gathered in the Vols locker room.

He said he wasn't worried about how tough this job was going to be, "If you want to be the best, you want to compete against the best, and that's the SEC."

On criticism about his lack of SEC experience, he said "Nick Saban and Les Miles didn't have SEC experience when they came into this league."  He also joked they both had Michigan ties, too.

On the high expectations of Vol fans, he joked that no one had higher expectations than his wife and family, because if he loses a game, "they don't talk to me for a week!"

He said he wanted a disciplined football team on the field.  He said offensively, they would take care of the football, be physical and up-tempo with a no huddle offense.  Defensively, his philosophy was to swarm the football, don't turnover the ball, and don't beat yourself.

Jones said he grew up watching UT football.  He said Neyland Stadium was a great venue, which he reaffirmed when he brought the Bearcats here last year.  He said "We need to fill Neyland, make it the great home field advantage again."  He encouraged fans to get their season tickets now.  He said there's no reason why we shouldn't win here.

When asked about the fact that he was not Dave Hart's first choice for the job, Jones joked, "I was my wife's third choice, but that's worked out for 30 years."

UT Athletic Director Dave Hart said that Jones had been on his short list all along, but their first face to face meeting came Thursday night.  He said about 20 minutes into the conversation, Jones told him this was his "dream job."  He said he recognized genuine passion from Jones about coming here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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