Tennessee coach Rick Barnes opinions season-opening basketball win over Presbyterian
Dan Fleser

Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes throughout Tennessee’s dwelling exhibition basketball recreation in opposition to Carson-Newman at Thompson-Boling Arena on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017.(Photo: BRIANNA PACIORKA/NEWS SENTINEL)

Vols basketball Rick Barnes stated he felt “sick” on Sunday afternoon when Tennessee fired soccer coach Butch Jones.

“The hardest thing for me with Butch, as a friend, was I know that bothered him that he couldn’t do more,” Barnes stated Monday on the Knoxville Quarterback Club. “I know he wanted to do more. … He really did respect and love the people here.”

Jones was fired Sunday after a 50-17 shellacking at Missouri on Saturday, dropping the Vols (Four-6) to Zero-6 in SEC play. He ended his tenure at Tennessee with a 34-27 mark in his 5 seasons, with a pair of 9-win seasons earlier than regressing dramatically in 2017.

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“One thing I can tell you about Butch is that no one put his heart into it any more,” Barnes stated. “You step back and as a coach you ask where did it get away from him? I’m not sure that people really appreciated those 9-win seasons.”

Barnes, who’s in his third yr at Tennessee, recalled his first conversations with Jones and then-athletic director Dave Hart.

He stated Hart had advised Jones “that this football program was in shambles” and that “it would take him a long time to get it going.” Jones made a bowl recreation in his second season earlier than profitable three straight bowl video games.

“He got it going quicker than maybe people thought,” Barnes stated. “All I can say is he left it better than he found it. We always talk about giving our all. He gave his all.”


Vols head coach Butch Jones is out at Tennessee. Here’s a glance again at his time with the group.

Barnes, whose Vols (1-Zero) play High Point on Tuesday, stated he’s certain Jones will wind up teaching once more quickly. He likened the scenario to what he witnessed throughout his time at Texas, when soccer coach Charlie Strong additionally struggled to dwell as much as expectations and was dismissed.

“The coach coming in, I would ask this question: What’s expected of me?” Barnes stated. “Is 9 wins not enough? Is going to a bowl game (not enough)? Do I have to go to the Final Four every year for college football? That’s like someone saying to me you’ve gotta be in the Sweet 16 or Elite 8 every year. If somebody told me that, I would say I don’t want to work for you. I want to be there every year, but I’ve been doing it long enough to know there’s 350 other schools that want to be there.”

Barnes lauded the University of Tennessee management, from chancellor Beverly Davenport to athletic director John Currie.

Specifically, Barnes praised the best way Currie dealt with the scenario with Jones on Sunday, however extra so for a way he dealt with the last few weeks because the Vols struggled all through the season.

“I thought John was tremendous with the way he has been with Butch,” Barnes stated. “If you knew what I knew, you’d be proud that he’s our AD. He has done some great things with the way he supported Butch all the way. He did and Butch would tell you that he really did. He was around. He let the players know.”