Report: Butch Jones called son’s high school coach about serving as volunteer assistant next year

  • Jake Rill
  • SEC Country
3:20 p.m Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018 Sports

As soon as Rich Rodriguez was fired by Arizona, one name that appeared in coaching rumors for the vacancy was former Tennessee coach Butch Jones. However, those rumblings may be premature.

According to Jimmy Hyams of WNML, Jones called the coach of his son’s high school team, Steve Mathews at Knoxville Catholic High School, about potentially serving as a volunteer assistant next season. Jones’ son, Adam, will be entering his senior season in the fall.

Fox’s Bruce Feldman says Butch Jones is under `strong consideration’ for the Arizona job after Rich Rodriguez was fired. Interestingly, Jones called Knoxville Catholic HS coach Steve Mathews about working as a volunteer coach this fall while son Adam plays his senior season.

— Jimmy Hyams (@JimmyHyams) January 3, 2018

However, Hyams also tweeted that Mathews wasn’t sure if Jones was serious about the offer. Also, Jones will need to pursue another college job in order to receive the entirety of his $8.25 million buyout over the next three years, per his contract, according to Hyams.

If Jones interviews for the Arizona job, that might fulfill that stipulation of his prior contract, per Hyams, who also reported that Jones has not responded to calls or texts.

Mathews said he wasn’t sure if Jones was serious. Jones’ contract says for him to get paid (he’s owed an $8.25 million buyout over 3-plus
years) he must pursue another job. If Jones interviews at Arizona, that might fulfill request. Jones hasn't responded to calls or texts.

— Jimmy Hyams (@JimmyHyams) January 3, 2018

Jones was fired by Tennessee on Nov. 12. He went 34-27 over five seasons leading the Vols, including going 4-6 this year before his firing.

Prior to his stint at Tennessee, Jones was the head coach at Central Michigan (2007-09) and Cincinnati (2010-12). He owns an 84-54 career record.

Jones’ next move could take him to the Pac-12, which already has several new coaches for next season, including Herm Edwards (Arizona State) and Chip Kelly (UCLA). Or, perhaps Jones will take a big step down to the high-school ranks as a volunteer assistant.

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