When Tennessee coach Butch Jones called the Volunteers’ senior class “the champions of life,” despite not winning the SEC East, it didn’t go over very well in the media.

The comment was naturally a target for memes and trolling. A sideline reporter covering a high school game worked in a witty reference. The Hefty Lefty got in on the fun. Even the SEC Network piled on the Vols.

At a Monday press conference for the Music City Bowl, Jones attempted to defend the comment, which has become something of a punchline online.

Jones might be right about other schools using it as a motto, but not many people will buy that as the reason that the quote “didn’t resonate very well.”

While Jones may be the butt of jokes on Twitter, in coaching circles his team’s 8-4 record despite numerous injuries and the starting running back quitting the team has impressed his peers: