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I come in peace Bearcat fans.

  • I know the last person you probably want to hear from right now is a UT fan, but I was just wondering if you guys would give me your opinion on CBJ and a few of his assistants? I hate how he jerked you guys around the last few weeks and I wish you guys could find a coach who would stick with you. You keep hiring good ones and they keep bailing, I know that has to suck.

    Anyway, if anyone can give me their thoughts on Butch himself, Weist, Elder, Stripling, Bajakian and Jancek, and your o-line coach whose name escapes me. I don't know who all is supposedly coming but I've heard all those names.

    Obviously if you don't feel like responding I understand completely. When Kiffin did it to us I didn't stop seeing red for a month.


  • I don't think many of us are as upset as you would think. Most think he was a good coach but not exceptional. We were fortunate to have some pretty good talent here that held up despite a few bad decisions on his part that probably cost us a BCS game this year. I personally do not think he will last at UT. I think he will have issues getting the type of recruits he needs to compete every week in the SEC. You guys need a big name coach as Tenn is not known as a hot bed for football recruits. I give him about 3-4 years before the Vols will want his head. We knew we had something special with Kelly. I don't think anyone felt that way about Butch. He was even UT's 4th or 5th choice? Anyway, wish him well and UT well but I don't think it ends up that way but he will make some good money. So, that is good for him.

    This post has been edited 3 times, most recently by jadam222 19 months ago

  • I disagree. I thing CBJ will bring the stability back to where you need it. His energy and commitment will win over fans and recruits. It will be fun to watch him roll with top level talent just like Kelly has. You guys are in good hands and I wish you nothing but success! The staff works their asses off and you will proud to see that orange flag raised high again! Good luck!

  • This post was edited by Bearcat17 19 months ago

  • Stripling is one of the best DL Coaches in the country he has been courted yearly by big time programs. I can tell you that my son learned more in one day from him than he did in a entire year under the previous DL coach while Kelly was here. The other Coaches I can't speak on because I really don't think I am qualified to judge them.

    This post was edited by UCmeNOW 19 months ago

  • You'll love his cliches. Especially after a loss tongue

  • We wanted to keep him, but I think we all understand why he moved. You will find Butch to be a tireless worker and relentless recruiter. He is still growing as a game-day coach. He did a good job here of getting the players to buy into his philosophy and getting them to play together. He has made some curious game-day calls and a couple of his personnel decisions have raised eyebrows.

    Coach Jancek helped us recruit Florida and Georgia, two states I think Tennessee will need to recruit hard to be successful. The defense is aggressive, but really Jancek would prefer to pressure with just the front four as much as possible.

    The offense is balanced. Coach Bajakian is a good O-Coordinator. The line coaches are top-notch.

    We hope whoever gets named our new HC will try and keep some of the assistants. In some ways we like the assistants more than CBJ.

    signature image


  • Thanks guys. I think he was officially our fourth choice. Gruden and Gundy were both longshots, and then Strong left us at the altar. We wanted to talk to Fedora but he wouldn't leave someone he just got to a year before.

    I hope he can do the job. I am utterly and completely confident he is better than the guy he is replacing. Dooley may be the worst hire in SEC history. 16-20 in the WAC, no coordinator experience, most of his players disliked him.

    Good luck in your search.

  • Some folks are bitter about how this played out, and then some others just never warmed to Butch's style, but I'm not in those camps (well, maybe a little in the first.) But when the talk surfaced and I thought about it, I actually think Butch and your program are a good match -- at least for right now.

    No one is going to outwork your new staff, and in my 30+ years of following UC football, I don't think any coach has ever gotten more buy-in from his kids. Butch is kind of folksy and cornball in his approach -- that didn't necessarily work well here, but I think it will play just fine in Tennessee, as long as he wins. He really worked hard to build a foundation in our talent levels that weren't there previously, and I think we will be reaping the dividends of that for the next 3-4 years. UC will be attractive to other coaches, because they will recognize our roster is in good shape and they can win here right away.

    Obviously, some of our fans weren't enthralled of game-day execution by Butch and his staff. I've consistently said all season I don't subscribe to that criticism when it comes to the 2012 Bearcats. This was a team that had definite limitations in certain personnel areas, and yet they figured out enough correct game plans to produce nine wins. Part of that, too, was not just knowing our personnel, but also the opposition's players and where vulnerabilities existed. Going that route will, of course, be more difficult in the SEC, where so many teams have excellent physical talent on their rosters.

    As to his assistants, I would say offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian is the most likely guy to be a lightning rod for divergent opinions. A segment of our fans thought he was unimaginative. I felt just the opposite. We scored in our game against UConn last week on a double-pass back to the QB where he could have crabwalked backwards into the end zone and not been touched. In a huge game with Syracuse a few weeks back, they made every national highlight show and blog for having our star running back throw a jump pass on a 4th-and-1 play that went for a 40-yard TD.

    Steve Stripling is a solid d-line coach with a long history of success. Mark Elder is a smart guy who can handle multiple roles. (He's also a Cincinnati native, and I have some hope that perhaps he can be persuaded to stay because of that.) The o-line coach, Don Mahoney, is one of the best there is in teaching line play based on spread offense principles. Those guys are all core guys who have long histories with Butch. John Jancek, I believe, was added around the time Butch showed up at UC, after a stint of a few years coaching defense -- including co-coordinator duties at one point -- for Mark Richt at Georgia. I wasn't sure what to make of him, but he became sole coordinator here this year after another core Butch guy, Tim Banks, left for Illinois, and he was a miracle worker with what he got done this year. Despite a group that was undersized and inexperienced at a number of key spots, UC's D is ranked No. 12 in the country in scoring defense. That's despite being ranked No. 41 in terms of total yards allowed per game. The last guy you ask about, T.J. Weist, was an addition to the staff last year, and is supposed to be a very good recruiter.

  • CBJ was good at keeping stability at stable programs he inherited from Brian Kelly. I have doubts he will do well in Tenn. If his first two seasons are losing seasons he will be gone and done coaching for good. He inherited MAC champions at CMU and BE champions at UC. At Tenn he is inheriting a losing team.

  • Personally, not a huge fan of CBJ's in game coaching, but he seemed to surround himself with excellent coordinators. Love his enthusiasm, how he runs his program and his recruiting.

    As I'm sure you're aware he has great connections in the south and in Tennessee so I think you guys will continue to recruit well (it seemed like Dooley did ok with that), the only question is can he stabilize and get you guys back to where you need to be.

    Good luck.

    Follow me on twitter @EricLilly7. Intimidate.Dominate.Celebrate.

  • It is not so much about is Butch a good coach because I think he is. I just don't think he is exceptional - meaning Kelly like. That stated, it is not about his staff and can they coach. It is about can they get the kind of players they will need in the SEC and that is where I think he will fail. So, if he had great players he could win. The issue is they will have to get players in Tenn that can compete with Bama, LSU, GA, etc. That is why I say it won't happen. Saban - yes. Meyer - yes. Jones - who is Jones?

    This post was edited by jadam222 19 months ago

  • The best way for Tenn to really win was to hire a "star" coach even if they had to pay 7Mill. It would be worth it.

  • Is this Butch Jones?... Come on, tell the truth. lol

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  • lol I was thinking the same thing when I read the excerpt from his presser after accepting the job. It was the same old stuff we had fed to us! I hope he does Great at UT as UT has always been my second choice after UC for football. I have family in Tenn and have been to a few games at Neyland while growing up. But Butch Jones is famous for his Cliches'! Were building Champions everyday on and off the field. We have to have mental toughness. You get the point, these are a couple of the cliches you guys at UT will start to become extremely familiar with! :)

    We Bleed Red! We Bleed Black! We Bleed Passion! We Are Bearcats!

  • I have to agree! I hope he does Great but with the facts being the facts, He is trying something he has never done before. I wish him luck! I will be honest though, With everything pretty much going downhill at UT they have to rebuild from scratch. Think of it this way, UT is like a cable car in San Fransisco, Dooley was a moron and broke the brake lever so they just kept on going downhill. Now Butch Jones and who ever follows him will have to stop the cable car and fix and then start back up the hill. I would say for them to have a .500 season before Jones being there 2 years would be fair. I would be shocked if they have a .500 record in the first two years.

    Jones has great Asst Coaches to answer the UT fan question. All of them are good, they all teach fundamentals and how to improve on a solid base of technique. I would like to see Jancek get a chance to be the HC at UC. He is tough, smart, and I think he is a copy of Pat Narduzzi. He has had our defense towards the top in terms of turnovers and making good plays. Our secondary at time leaves things desired but part is due to people not executing and making plays.

    Past all of this, you guys got a good coach. He isn't near Brian Kelly in terms of coaching or from a public relations standpoint, but he is still good. Our offense seems to struggle but that was due to bad play calling and play execution. Once again, if UT fans hang in there with Jones and who ever he takes with him you will get leaps and bounds better than where you were with Dooley. Just be prepared. He bombed his first year here and that was after following a coach that is now coaching in the National Championship game, not a coach getting canned because he was bad. It could take you guys 3-5 years to see major improvements. But maybe not.

    We Bleed Red! We Bleed Black! We Bleed Passion! We Are Bearcats!

  • Carey provided an excellent summary on the assistants. I think I will miss them more than CBJ himself. They will almost certainly follow him, as the assistant's pay is probably even a bigger resource gap than the HC salary.

    Another point, to piggyback onto my cliche post. This isn't a flame, but a hypothetical situation that may come to pass: Suppose UT is in the Swamp, getting blasted by UF 31-7. At the end of the third quarter, you will see the Vols sprinting down the sideline chest-bumping one another (this is what they did, regardless of the score). UC fans were disgusted enough by such things. I'm sure a big-time school in the SEC will react far worse.

  • Butch is a great leader and will out work any other coach. Kids will love to play for him.

    He still needs to develop his game management. His decision making at times during games was poor.
    Perfect example was kicking FG at TN on 4th and goal when UC needed a TD

    His play calling on 4th and short in his 3 years at UC was atrocious

    He was a good recruiter at the Big East Level. SEC is an entire different playing field