KNOXVILLE, TN (WRCB) -- After numerous interviews and a couple of very public rejections UT finally has a new head coach, and it's someone who wanted the job all along.
Butch Jones, the head coach at the University of Cincinnati has agreed in principle to end the Volunteers' journey through the coaching desert.
Jones' career record is 50-27, and 1-2 in bowl games.
He's a native of Michigan native, and played college football at Ferris State University. Jones and his wife, Barbara, have three sons; Alex, Adam, and Andrew.
His career record stands at 50-27 as a head coach. He comes to Tennessee after coaching at the University of Cincinnati the last three years.
In 2011, he was named the Big East Coach of the Year by the league, and CBS Sports named him the Big East Coach of the year this season.
In six seasons as a head coach, he has led his teams to four league championships. Before his tenure coaching the Bearcats, Jones led Central Michigan to a pair of Mid-American Conference titles in 2007 and 2009.
Jones will be 45 next month. He has actually been to Knoxville before, when his Bearcats played the Vols in 2011. In that matchup, the Vols outplayed Cincinnati in a 45-23 rout.
The hire is a crucial one for Tennessee, considering the athletic department's financial situation.
Athletic director Dave Hart said his department "is at a crossroads" financially while working on the lowest reserve in the SEC, but vowed it would not be a hindrance in the search process.
Chancellor Jimmy Cheek announced shortly after Dooley's dismissal the athletic department would not be making its annual $6 million donation to the university's academic fund for the next three years; thus, keeping $18 million in the athletics' budget to "stabilize" the department and "invest in its future."
Jones is set to earn $18.2 million over the next six years, and his memorandum of understanding includes a hefty buy-out for both the coach and the university.
Jones is the 24th head coach in Vols' history, but the program's fourth in the last six years.
Below is a look at the tenures of the men he most recently follows in that position.
DEREK DOOLEY - 2010-2012
Tennessee fired Dooley on Nov. 18 after an embarrassing 41-18 road loss at Vanderbilt cemented the program's third straight losing season for the first time in more than a century.
Dooley, who was hired to replace Lane Kiffin in 2009, exited with a 15-21 overall mark and a dismal 4-19 record in SEC play. He had four years remaining on his contract and is owed a $5 million buyout.
Interim coach Jim Chaney, the Vols' offensive coordinator, led the team to a 37-17 win over Kentucky in the season finale to avoid the program's first-ever winless SEC schedule and close a disappointing 2012 season with a 5-7 overall mark.
LANE KIFFIN - 2009
Following on the heels of Phillip Fulmer, Lane Kiffin arrived at Tennessee from the pro ranks, coaching Oakland Raiders for almost two seasons.
His departure from the Raiders was controversial, ending with arbitration which ruled Al Davis had the ability to dismiss Kiffin. He did.
With a 7-6 record at Tennessee for the 2009 season. Kiffin left in a hastily-called news conference, and went to USC as head coach.
PHILLIP FULMER - 1992-2008
Fulmer is perhaps best remembered for the first-ever BCS National Championship in 1998, where the Vols defeated FSU. He also led UT to five SEC Championship games, winning in both 1997 and 1998.
Fulmer recruiting skills were well-regarded; his recruiting prowess was depicted in the 2009 movie "The Blind Side," where Fulmer played himself trying to reel in the fictional football star played by Quinton Aaron.
Like Johnny Majors before him, Fulmer also played for UT, on the field as an offensive guard from 1969–1971. Fulmer also served as an assistant to Johhny Majors, and served as interim coach while Majors recovered from heart surgery in 1992.
His 152-52 record was slightly marred by his last season, where he led Tennessee to a losing 5-7.
JOHHNY MAJORS - 1977–1992
Majors played as a tailback at the University of Tennessee and was honored as an All-American and runner-up for the Heisman Trophy in 1956.
His coaching career at Tennessee spanned 16 years, and Majors' tenure resulted three SEC championships (1985, 1989 and 1990) and a record of 116-62.
Majors' departure from UT was mired in controversy. Following his heart surgery, then-Majors assistant Phillip Fulmer took the helm, guiding the team to a 3-0 record during Fulmer's guidance.
Shortly afterward, Majors resigned. How that resignation came about is the subject of much speculation, but in a February 2012 interview with WBIR in Knoxville, Majors said "It was a stealth deal if I ever saw it. We left a championship football program at Tennessee when I was forced out of here after the most successful three years of my entire life."
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