Tennessee AD admits to no 'specific conversations' with Butch Jones regarding extension, raise
You can’t blame any college football coach for wanting as much security as possible these days. However, it doesn’t appear any talks of that nature have taken place in Knoxville between Tennessee’s new athletic director John Currie and head football coach Butch Jones since the new AD started April 1.
During the most recent stop of the Big Orange Caravan in Memphis, Currie was asked if he and Jones have discussed Jones’ current contract with the school. The school’s new athletic director admitted there had not been any, according to David Cobb of the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
“We have not had any specific conversations about that,” Currie said.
While it’s not exactly on the level of new Texas A&M AD Scott Woodard’s offseason comments regarding Kevin Sumlin — who said, “(Sumlin) knows he has to win and he has to win this year,” during a segment on the Paul Finebaum Show, Currie has spoken openly regarding the proud tradition of the football program at Tennessee and getting it back to that level.
While Currie may not appear eager to hand Jones an extension at this time, he was willing to note the ongoing discusses the two have had regarding the program’s future and the effort being put in by the current staff to achieve those goals.
“We’ve had a lot of conversations about our program,” Currie said. “But we’re really focused on getting ready for the season, doing a great job in recruiting — as he is doing — and getting to know each other. I’m thrilled. I couldn’t be more pleased with being able to work with Coach Jones. He cares so much.”
Ultimately, Jones won’t be judged in Knoxville by how much he cares or how well he recruits. In the end, Currie’s evaluation of how well the Volunteers perform on the field will likely be the key to Jones’ future with Tennessee. After falling short of the team’s lofty preseason goals in 2016, exceeding expectations in 2017 may prove to be enough for Jones to land the security he so desires on Rocky Top.