The search is on for the next head football coach of the University of Tennessee Volunteers.

The university fired Butch Jones early Sunday morning, following a blowout loss to Missouri.

The price tag to part way with Jones is a steep one. It is important to note, Jones was fired without cause, meaning the university is obligated to honor the termination clause in his contract. The university will pay him the full buyout, roughly $8.2 million.

Tennessee athletics director John Currie spoke to the media on Sunday, following the firing of Tennessee’s fourth head football coach in nine years.

“We understand that's a significant amount of money. It's a significant investment, so we don't take that lightly,” Currie said. “I want to emphasize my commitment to hiring the best coach at the University of Tennessee.”

According to the terms of Jones' contract, the $8.2 million owed by the university will be paid in monthly installments until Feb. 28, 2021. However, that figure will be reduced by whatever salary Jones makes at his next job.

If Jones' nine assistants are fired at the end of the calendar year, UT would owe each a buyout ranging from more than $300,000 to more than $1.3 million.

“Overall, all of our assistant coaches are on two-year contracts. Altogether it's in the $13 million range,” Currie said. “That is mitigated of course, as it is possible some could be retained by our next staff, or that they would find jobs elsewhere if they're not retained by the next staff."

In December 2014, coming off a 6-6 season and the Vols’ first bowl berth in four seasons, then athletics director Dave Hart gave Jones a two-year contract extension through 2020 that was worth $3.6 million per season. Jones had been making $2.95 million per season.

Jones was by far the highest paid football coach in the state of Tennessee.

At Vanderbilt, Derek Mason's base salary in 2015 was $2.5 million. Mason recently signed a three-year contract extension in May. The details of the contract were not made public.

Memphis football coach Mike Norvell's contract has been extended one year through 2021. He is due to make $1.86 million, plus bonuses.

Back on Rocky Top, Currie is adamant that the university has the resources available to make the right hire.

According the U.S. Department of Education, the University of Tennessee Volunteers brought in the second-highest revenue in college football in the last full fiscal year. The university earned $107.1 million from July 2015 through June 2016.

Currie said the university will not hire a search firm as they look for the next coach to lead the team through the T next season.

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