In John Currie’s first season as Tennessee athletic director, many are curious to know what he’ll be looking for from coach Butch Jones, particularly when it comes to evaluating Jones at the end of the season.
ESPN’s Football Power Index currently ranks the Volunteers at No. 19 – third in the SEC East – and projects an eight-win season. ESPN’s simulation-based evaluation is in line with what many in the media are expecting this fall, as UT was picked to finish third in the division at SEC Media Days. When Currie was asked about a specific record he’s looking for, however, he told media members at the Big Orange Caravan stop in Kingsport, Tenn. that he looks at more than just wins and losses.
“As an athletics director, I think you’ve got be really careful about ever evaluating things based upon specifics records or things that can be kind of arbitrary,” Currie said, per Go Vols 247. “That’s a funny-looking ball, and it bounces lots of different directions. What I’m always looking at is, ‘What’s the overall state of our program, with the organization, the enthusiasm, the momentum?’
“If you look at those three things, we’re right at the top.”
While Jones has his share of critics, Currie complimented the fifth-year UT coach on the progress he’s made in rebuilding the Tennessee program.
“We’ve obviously been in a period of rebuilding under Coach Jones, and we’ve had extraordinary progress and a bunch of wins over the last couple of years, some big wins,” Currie said. “And I know we’re gonna continue to move forward.”