Tennessee fans speculate about who will replace Butch Jones

Vols fans say they want to see a new head coach who will attract top level recruits, develop talent and work well with coordinators and assistants. (Image: WTVC) 

The Vols have two games left and Butch Jones won't be on the field. Now, fans are left wondering who will replace the former Head Coach.

"I guess the good name would be Gruden," said Les Lawrence, a Tennessee fan.

Jon Gruden, an analyst on Monday Night Football, is a fan favorite on social media to replace Butch Jones.

"I think he could bring names because kids see him on tv as a pro analyst and know that he won a super bowl," said Lawrence.

But other fans want to see Chip Kelly, an ESPN analyst, lead the Big Orange.

"Gruden would be one but I think if we did get him, after he made a good name for himself he would jump back into the pros again too quick," said John Strange, a Vols fan. "I think Kelly will actually stay."

Strange says Kelly's style of offense would do well against SEC teams. But UT contributor and fan Allan Jones wants to see a familiar face.

"I'd like to see Philip Fulmer brought back actually," said Allan Jones. "If I had my choice. I don't know if he'd do it or not."

Fulmer was fired as Vols head coach in 2008. With so many names on the mind of fans, NewsChannel 9 took a list of those top picks to an expert.

"They can't go with a Lane Kiffin again," said Darrell Patterson, retired NewsChannel 9 Sports Director. "That set the program back. They can't go with a Derek Dooley again. It's just got to be the right combination. The right coach, the right coaching staff and the right players."

Patterson has out of the box ideas on who it will take to lead Tennessee to victory.

"I like Jeff Fisher, former Titans Head Coach. John Harbaugh, coach of the Baltimore Ravens right now," said Patterson. "I think they could go after someone high profile like that, that could really make an impact."

But big names could mean a big price tag for UT. The University paid Butch Jones $4.1 million dollars a year. His buyout was $8.25 million. Fan Allan Jones has some concerns about locking down the best person for the job.

"It's going to be tough for us to get somebody," said Jones. "I hate to say that but I think if we do, you're going to see a record number pay check and we're going to have to pay them to get them up here.

UT Athletic Director John Currie says he will not make any public comments about the search for a new head coach until they announce who got the job.

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