Here in Chattanooga, many are reacting to the news out of Knoxville and what Sunday's announcement means for the future of Tennessee’s football program.

That includes Dalton high football coach Bill Mayo. He played for UT from 1981 to 1984 as an offensive guard.

He said UT football has had some rough times, but he believes the future is bright.

Bill Mayo said he has met Butch Jones and was pleased with his recruiting efforts. Mayo said he was impressed with how Jones spent time stabilizing the team.  

“The players they have now are tremendous I'm in the way they are big and fast and strong as they are it's incredible what great athletes they are,” Mayo said.

Mayo has continued to follow UT football through many coaching changes.

He said Jones departure was no surprise to him or other alumni. Mayo said with so many players out, it was hard for the team to compete with big SEC teams.

“They had so many injuries last three years has really affected the teams’ performance in and this year is been an absolute disaster season for them,” Mayo said.

Mayo doesn't expect the change to interrupt the staff or the players.

“They will pull them together and these guys will fight hard the last two games I do I do not think that they will tank I think the fan need to go out and support the kids and support the team,” Mayo said.

While there are a lot of names being thrown around for the new coaching position, one that has some attention is Jon Gruden.

The ESPN broadcaster and former Oakland raiders coach has ties to Knoxville.

“That would be kind of exciting to have a big personality like that he would do outstanding on the recruiting trail and I think he would really rack up a lot of great recruits,” Mayo said.

Mayo said he trusts John Currie and the selection committee to make the right choice.

Mayo said one thing that hasn't changed over the years is fan support and the team needs it now more than ever.