Welcome, Coach Jones!
Jun 07, 2013 | 430 views | 0 0 comments | 53 53 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Vol Nation faithful have only a few hours remaining before tonight’s eagerly anticipated appearance in Cleveland by University of Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones.

Coming to town for a “meet-and-greet” as part of a fundraiser by Bradley Sunrise Rotary, the likable first-year field general of the UT gridiron is expected to kick off his visit with a press conference at 7 p.m. It will be followed by a brief reception with major donors, and by 7:30 p.m. the coach should be taking the stage to a lively Big Orange audience.

A few presentations will be made, as will Jones’s personal assessments on the status of the Vols football program and its future fortunes.

The evening is expected to include a question-and-answer session for event participants.

Tickets are still available for this heralded visit which will be held in the Performing Arts Center of the Fine Arts Building at Bradley Central High School. Priced at $25 each, tickets can be purchased from any Sunrise Rotarian, from the Orange Blossom Boutique at Stuart Park Plaza, from the main branch of Southern Heritage Bank on Keith Street or through EventBrite, which can be accessed on the civic club’s website at www.bradleysunriserotary.com.

And, tickets will be sold at the door.

Ticket requests may be made, or additional information can be obtained, by contacting Sunrise Rotary President Pat Fuller at 423-244-1000. Although time is running short, UT Vols fans still have a few hours to secure their entry into an informal setting that will allow many Cleveland, Bradley County and surrounding area residents to get their first personal glimpse of Jones and to hear his views on the coming UT football season.

Jones comes to Big Orange football with lofty credentials. In short, where he goes he wins. His numbers tell the story.

Hired by UT on Dec. 7, 2012, Jones is the university’s 24th head football coach.

He owns a 50-27 record (.649) in six seasons as a head coach. Prior to joining Tennessee football, he coached the University of Cincinnati where he finished with a 23-14 record in three seasons with the Bearcats.

Jones also was the head coach for three years at Central Michigan and compiled a 27-13 record. He has won at least eight games in five of six years as a head coach, including three seasons of nine-plus wins in the last four years. He led Cincinnati to a Top 25 final national ranking in 2011.

Jones is the first to acknowledge he arrives in Knoxville with a full understanding of expectations; that is, to get the UT orange train back on track and to return it to its days of yore in the SEC and to the nation’s Top 10 elite.

To coach UT football is far more than just a job. It is accountability for sustaining a legacy, one anchored in winning and respect — not just for this year or another, but every year.

“I understand the values, traditions and level of expectations that come with this position, and I look forward to being a part of the Vols’ Nation,” Jones said on his first day on the job.

Thanks to the community-minded efforts of Sunrise Rotary, Jones is the latest in a line of prominent names and familiar faces to grace the Cleveland and Bradley County stage. He follows the likes of Vince and Barbara Dooley, Derek Dooley and Collins Tuohy, the real-life sister of Michael Oher, an offensive tackle playing for the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.

Whether you bleed orange, or your blood is conventionally red, we encourage Cleveland and Bradley County residents to turn out for tonight’s visit by Butch Jones.

It’ll be a fun evening filled with entertainment and some lighthearted presentations by local government officials.

It’s also a chance to deliver a show of support to UT football and to Coach Jones.

And, it’s a way of saying thank you to Sunrise Rotary which will use these proceeds to support causes like Habitat for Humanity, American Cancer Society, the Salvation Army and Angel Flight, among others.

Buying a ticket tonight is a thumbs up for UT football and all things orange.