Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart confirmed contract negotiations are ongoing with football coach Butch Jones.
“We’ve already opened those conversations and we’ll continue to have those conversations,” Hart said.
Jones is expected to receive a raise and a contract extension following Tennessee’s 8-4 season. The Vols were 5-3 in the SEC.
“Butch is well aware of where I stand,” Hart said. “He knows that we’ll address that and do what’s right and fair.”
The raise could have been even greater had the Vols won the SEC East, which nearly happened. Tennessee would be preparing for the SEC Championship game had it been able to beat Florida. The Vols gave up a 13-point lead against the Gators and lost, 28-27. That turned out to be the difference between Tennessee and Florida in the eventual SEC East standings. Florida will represent the East on Saturday when it plays Alabama.
“I’m no different than everyone else,” Hart said. “I think that everyone in our organization would like to be in Atlanta. We’ll be in Atlanta (for the SEC Championship game in future years). This was a good step for our football team this year.”
Hart said he saw the true muster of Jones’ team when it came back from a 21-point deficit to beat UGA 38-31.
“That’s when this team took a giant step forward,” Hart said. “If the culture wasn’t what it is … that wouldn’t have occurred.”