Vols, Butch Jones extend contract through 2020

By Matt Slovin

KNOXVILLE —Tennessee athletics director Dave Hart announced a two-year contract extension worth $3.6 million per year for football coach Butch Jones on Monday.

"We have the right man leading our football program at the University of Tennessee," Hart said. "He's an outstanding ambassador for the university."

Jones' previous annual salary was $2.96 million.

Jones is now under contract through 2020. Hart said that he and Jones began discussing an extension the day after the regular-season finale at Vanderbilt, and the two came to an agreement Friday.

The raise makes Jones the seventh-highest paid coach in the SEC. Prior to the recent flurry of contract revisions, he was the 11th-highest paid coach in the league.

"I'm very appreciative and grateful to be the head football coach at the University of Tennessee," Jones said Monday.

When asked what message he hopes the extension sends, Hart said, "that Butch Jones is our coach and will be for a long time."

Jones has been linked to the vacant coaching position at Michigan, but he has shot those rumors down multiple times.

"It's always been my philosophy to reward people for performance in the job that they're doing and not because you think that somebody might come and get them," Hart said.

There also will be an increase in the assistant coaches' salary pool, though those terms weren't immediately disclosed.

Jones is 11-13 in two seasons at UT, which he led back to the postseason for the first time since 2010. UT will play in the Jan. 2 TaxSlayer Bowl against Iowa.

Jones is 61-40 in his career, including stops at Central Michigan and Cincinnati.

Reach Matt Slovin on Twitter @MattSlovin.