Butch Jones was once on the other side of the field at Tennessee, but now that he is part of the Alabama coaching staff he had no problem sticking it to his old team. Alabama has a tradition of smoking cigars after beating Tennessee. After the game, the above photo of Jones smoking a cigar in the locker room went viral.
“This whole week, we were talking about Coach Butch being able to smoke a cigar finally. He got that opportunity, and we’re happy for him,” Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa told ESPN’s Chris Low.
Jones job as an Alabama analyst is not exactly lucrative. According to the Knoxville News, Jones only makes $35,000 in his new role in Tuscaloosa.
Butch Jones Is Still Being Paid $200,000 a Month by Tennessee
It’s not all bad news for Jones. He is still being paid $200,000 a month by Tennessee until 2021, per ESPN’s Peter Burns, so the cigar tasted even sweeter. Sports Illustrated reported Jones received a $8.125 million buyout from Tennessee. Nick Saban has been complimentary of Jones and described his role on the coaching staff.
“Butch is a very bright guy and he’s done a really good job. … Basically, what he does is assist Mike [Locksley] as much as possible,” Saban told ESPN. “He always gives me a little summary of things he thinks we need to work on on offense just from an overall view from a thousand feet, which has been very helpful.”
Lane Kiffin joined the Alabama staff after being fired as USC head coach. Kiffin parlayed his role as an Alabama assistant coach into another head coaching gig at FAU. Jones is no doubt hoping to do the same. Kiffin admitted it is no coincidence that fired coaches line up to be an Alabama assistant under Saban.
“You know, the Nick Saban stamp,” Kiffin told ESPN. “Maybe you’ve been fired. Maybe there’s an issue or someone has a certain opinion of you. It’s been referred to around there as the Nick Saban seal of approval. If Nick Saban would hire him, everything is OK, don’t worry about this issue they may have had at this school before because Nick Saban hired him. So, hey, let’s wipe the slate clean.”
Not only did Jones enjoy a cigar, the Alabama players celebrated the win by giving the former Tennessee head coach a Gatorade bath.
“Unfortunately, we are not where we need to be competitively,” former Tennessee athletic director John Currie told Sports Illustrated at the time of Jones’ firing. “For that reason, I have asked Coach Jones to step down as head football coach. I know Coach Jones will be successful moving forward, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors.