At least one SEC assistant coach believes that Butch Jones has been a beneficiary of the rocky athletic director situation at Tennessee.
When Butch Jones took over Tennessee football in 2013, the program was in complete disarray. The Volunteers hadn't had a winning season since 2009 (under Lane Kiffin, hilariously enough) and hadn't won a bowl game since 2008. Last year, the Volunteers went 9-4 and got a nice bowl victory in the Music City Bowl over Nebraska. Still, some people believe that Jones isn't maximizing the Volunteers' potential, and he should be on his way out the door sooner rather than later, and the only thing that saved him this year was the turnover at athletic director.
One unnamed SEC assistant coach believes that if Tennessee had a more stable AD situation, Jones may have lost his job. Per 247Sports:
“I think he’s been benefitted from that (AD change),” one SEC assistant told us. “If they had a stable AD, I bet he’s gone. I know a lot of coaches who feel like they’re kind of taking it easy on him. It’s been there for the taking for them. They never took it.”
While it's true that Tennessee hasn't developed into a title contender, it's also true that Jones has won three straight bowl games and has overseen a vast improvement in the football program. Regardless, it appears that Jones might be fighting for his job this upcoming season.