When a coach is fired, it not only affects him, but also his entire family. A move is likely imminent as the coach’s family will have to pack up and head wherever his next job is located.
Tennessee coach Butch Jones continues to be a topic of hot-seat rumors. After a 41-0 home loss to Georgia on Saturday, he is 14-20 in SEC games during his five seasons with the Vols, and the loss to the Bulldogs was Tennessee’s most lopsided defeat at home since 1905.
During the game, ESPN’s Chris Low was in the Jones’ family suite with Butch’s wife, Barbara, to get her perspective on what it’s like to be the family of a coach that is hearing negative outside noise.
“You have to learn to put on blinders and focus on your family,” Barbara Jones told Low. “We know the noise is only going to get louder.”
Barbara Jones, Butch’s wife of 25 years, also told Low that she doesn’t listen to sports talk radio or go on online message boards. But she returns to public life after each week’s game, while Butch stays focused on trying to improve his team.
“The coaches are almost in a bunker,” Barbara Jones told Low. “They go back to work, the next practice and the next game, and figure out how to get better. We go back to life. They do, too, but it’s different. We’re still in grocery stores and still in school. That’s part of it. I understand that and so do the kids, but it doesn’t make it easy.”
Barbara Jones also admitted to Low that the outside hot-seat talk is different for her family, as Butch had success at his previous two head-coaching jobs at Cincinnati and Central Michigan.
“The thing that’s hardest for me is I know everything he’s put into this for five years,” Barbara Jones told Low. “The next person that would come in here would look like a genius. We’re so close, but the powers that be are the ones who have the final say.
“You have to accept that and know there’s a lot of football left.”
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