By Kellen Hiser
Tennessee head coach Butch Jones was rewarded with a raise on Monday following the Vols’ 8-4 regular-season and berth in the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day.
“Butch Jones has done an outstanding job leading this football program on and off the field,” said Tennessee Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Dave Hart. “As I said recently, Butch has brought stability to our program. When we hired Butch four years ago, he laid out a vision of how he wanted to build this program back to where we all want it be. We have made great strides, however, it remains and ongoing process.
“Most importantly, we have the right leader to get us to our ultimate destination and we are rewarding him accordingly.”
Jones has guided the Vols to back-to-back January bowl games for the first time since the 2006 and 2007 seasons while overseeing a pair of Top 5 recruiting classes.
“Obviously, (I’m) very thankful,” Jones said Monday following practice. “We’ve had a supportive administration led by Dave Hart and Chancellor Cheek and we all win with this. I think it’s an illustration of the support they have given us ever since we came here. It’s gratifying in terms of they see what we’re building, they see what goes on here. But it’s really all about the players, it’s about our coaching staff, it’s about everyone in our football organization. So really it’s a tribute to them and everyone associated with our football program.”
Jones is 20-17 in three seasons with the Vols and 70-44 in nine seasons overall as a head coach. The Vols will carry a five-game winning streak into the Outback Bowl against No. 12 Northwestern (10-2) in Tampa, Florida.
Tennessee averaged 100,584 fans per game, its most since 2008 season, an increase of nearly 11,000 fans per game since Jones arrived. The average in 2012 was 89,965.