Tennessee football coach Butch Jones was on the hot seat coming into this season. He was 33-22 as Tennessee coach coming into today's home game against Georgia, and calls for his job have been building. Those calls got a whole lot louder after the Vols got blown out 41-0.
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As of this writing, Jones still has his job. But if Tennessee does decide to pay Butch Jones' massive, massive buyout and fire him, here are five coaches who could potentially replace him at UT.
Current Job: Out of Coaching
We would be remiss if we failed to mention Phillip Fulmer.
The Tennessee alum, former assistant, and long-time head coach was 152-52 in his 17 years as UT head coach. He was fired in 2008 after a 5-7 season, his only sub-.500 finish. That looks like a little bit of a rash decision in retrospect.
Fulmer is just 67 years old and beloved by fans and key stakeholders, some of whom have repeatedly expressed their anger for his force-out nine years ago.[divider]
Current Job: Head Coach — James Madison
If you don't know Mike Houston's name yet, you will soon.
The second-year head coach is 17-1 in his career at JMU, after leading the Dukes to a dominating win the FCS national championship in his first year at the helm. Houston started his coaching career in the high school ranks, and has coached at the D3 and D2 levels as well. He has yet to hold an FBS job, but might be just the type of wildcard the Vols need. [divider]
Current Job: Head Coach — Troy
Brown led the Trojans to 10 wins last season, the first double-digit win season since the program moved to the FBS in 2001. The former Kentucky wide receiver is just 37 years old. His star is on the rise, and Tennessee could certainly offer him more than the $850,000 he is currently making.
(Also, as I write this piece, Troy is up 10-0 at halftime against LSU.)
Current Job: Head Coach — Memphis
Norvell led Memphis to eight wins last year, a program record for a first-year head coach. Now the Tigers are out to a 3-0 start, including a shootout win over UCLA, and look like early favorites to win the American Athletic Conference title. It's only been two years since they lost Justin Fuente to Virginia Tech — they could be on the coach hunt again soon.
Current Job: Head Coach — Mississippi State
Mullen would be a godsend for a school with the pedigree and resources to recruit top level talent like Tennessee.
Current Job: Head Coach — Florida Atlantic
Lol, just kidding.