Butch Jones: 'The clouds are going away'
Posted by: Chris Vannini on February 26, 2013
Tennessee football hasn't been the same since the departure of Phil Fulmer.
Lane Kiffin spent one season in Knoxville before leaving for USC, Derek Dooley was let go before the completion of his third season and Jim Chaney won his lone game as the interim coach. The Volunteers haven't won more than seven games in a season since 2007.
Butch Jones joined 92.9 The Game in Atlanta on Tuesday and said he understands why fans are upset about the state of the program. But it's not going to be an overnight success, either.
"This program needs stability. It needs continuity and it needs consistency," he said. "Some of these young men in our football family right now, I'm their fourth head coach in five years. It's earning that trust. You're not going to find anyone who is more impatient than me. I want to win now, but we're going to make sure we do things right with building a foundation and a structure that's built to last."
Jones has no problem selling the program. Every school goes through some down years, and Jones believes the Volunteers are on the way back up.
"I want to remind everyone that, since 1927, Tennessee is the all-time winningest college football program in the country," Jones said. When you're taking over a program, we're not building tradition. We have tradition. You look at all the great college football programs. They go through their trying times. They go through their down years.
"The clouds are going away, and you can see the ray of sunshine. We have a great product, we have great people. It was a very, very easy decision. We have great leadership from our administration here. We have everything in place."
Jones' interview finished by talking about his recruiting class. He talked about wanting to bring in high-character players from winning programs, and there was one line that stood out as a warning to high school players.
"We have a standard. We weren't going to deviate from that. We made some decisions at the end to not give some scholarships out because of Twitter and Facebook and some things we'd heard.
"This class is going to be the foundation for Tennessee football for years to come."
Be careful what you put out there, kids.
Chris Vannini is the lead writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and MLive.com. He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to email@example.com