In 2013 Butch Jones took over the head coaching job at Tennessee as the fourth coach to fill the position in a span of five seasons.
With a 5-7 finish the Volunteers didn't quite hit their stride in year one of the Jones era, but for a team that has lacked consistency in the coaching department Jones believes the future is bright on rocky top as he returns for a second season. "Well year two is great and our players now understand the standard and the expectations within our football program," Jones said. "Everyone is familiar with everything. You can't put a price tag on experience and the Tennessee football program has a great great tradition obviously. A tradition of winning and a standard and an expectation of excellence".
Jones' debut season at Tennessee was highlighted by a 23-21 victory over number 11 South Carolina, giving Tennessee their first win over a ranked opponent since 2009 but with a 2-6 record in conference play Jones quickly realized winning doesn't come easy in the SEC. "There's a reason why the SEC is the best football conference in the country. Everything is about competing for greatness. This is an unforgiving league there's great coaches there are no weaknesses there are no weak teams. The SEC never stands still."
Tennessee has had no time to stand still this offseason with 3 players vying for the job of starting quarterback. With 6 players gone from the front 7 on defense and only 5 starters coming back the offensive side there are plenty of chances for young players to work hard and rise to the top.
It won't be an easy journey for Tennessee in their second year with Coach Jones. The Volunteers travel to Norman to take on Oklahoma in their first road trip of the season followed by their SEC opener on the road against Georgia on September 27.