After six years, Butch Jones is leaving the SEC.
The former Tennessee head football coach has been hired as Maryland’s tight ends coach and associate head coach, according to a report from InsideMDSports, a 247Sports site covering Maryland.
Jones will be joining the staff of new Terrapins head coach Mike Locksley, whom Jones worked with this season at Alabama while serving as an offensive analyst. Locksley was the Crimson Tide’s offensive coordinator before being hired by Maryland on Dec. 4.
Butch Jones has reportedly found a new home. https://t.co/eVdE2rp95b— Blake Von Hagen (@blake_vonhagen) December 11, 2018
It will be the first time Jones has worked as an assistant coach, not including his time as an Alabama analyst, a role in which he couldn’t work with players on-field, since 2006, when he was West Virginia’s wide receivers coach.
He last coached tight ends in an individual capacity in 1998 for Central Michigan.
Jones served as Tennessee’s head coach for five seasons, posting a 34-27 overall record, including a 14-24 mark in SEC play. He led the Vols to three straight bowl game wins and two consecutive 9-4 finishes, but was fired in 2017 after going 4-6 and winless in conference play.
While Jones’ firing led to a tumultuous coaching search that ultimately produced current Vols coach Jeremy Pruitt, he was hired by Nick Saban as an analyst at Alabama. His job included helping coaches “in planning and preparation,” according to Saban.
“Butch is a very bright guy and he's done a really good job of that,” Saban said. “Basically, what he does is assist Mike (Locksley) as much as possible and always gives me a little summary of things that he thinks we need to work on on offense and just from an overall view from a thousand feet type of thing, which has been very helpful.”
Tennessee was 5-7 this season under Pruitt, the same record Jones had in his first year with the Vols. Pruitt’s squad notched key upsets against Auburn and Kentucky, but ended the season with losses to SEC East opponents Missouri and Vanderbilt.
“We have a long way to go,” Pruitt said. “I think our kids improved as the season went.”