Butch Jones was pondering whether to leave Cincinnati this week to coach Colorado when he received a text message that inadvertently foreshadowed his eventual destination.
It was from Denver Broncos quarterback and Tennessee Volunteers great Peyton Manning.
“He was selling me on Colorado,” Jones said. “He said it was hard for a person from the University of Tennessee to be selling somebody to come to the University of Colorado. I wanted to text him back, ‘Come on, I want to go to Tennessee.’ ”
That’s exactly where Jones ended up.
Tennessee introduced Jones on Friday as its successor to Derek Dooley, who was fired Nov. 18 after going 15-21 in three seasons. Jones called Tennessee his dream job and said he was taking over “the best college football program in America.”
It hardly mattered to Jones that he wasn’t Tennessee’s first choice.
“I think I was my wife’s third choice, and it’s worked for 20 years,” Jones said.
Jones has a 50-27 record in six seasons as a head coach. He was 23-14 at Cincinnati the last three years.
Army, Navy battle for prized trophy
The 113th Army-Navy game is about more than bragging rights today.
The Commander- in-Chief’s Trophy is up for grabs. The winning team leaves Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia with the prize that is awarded to the team with the best record in games among the three service academies. Army and Navy each beat Air Force, putting the prestigious trophy on the line in the regular-season finale for the first time since 2005.
Army (2-9) hasn’t hoisted the CIC trophy since 1996. Navy (7-4) won it a school-record seven straight seasons through 2009 until giving way to Air Force the last two seasons.
Grizzlies double up on coordinators
Montana Grizzlies football coach Mick Delaney said he will have co-offensive coordinators for the 2013 season.
Current assistants Scott Gragg and Kefense Hynson will be elevated to the shared position, with Gragg overseeing the running game and the offensive line while Hynson directs the passing game, tight ends and special teams.
The two fill the position vacated by former Washington State quarterback Timm Rosenbach, who left after one season to become offensive coordinator at Weber State.
WVA orders musket control
The musket toted by West Virginia University’s Mountaineer isn’t just a prop – it’s a bona fide weapon, and mascot Jonathan Kimble demonstrated that when he brought down a black bear with it in the woods.
Now WVU has ordered Kimble to stop using his university-issued weapon on hunting trips after a video of this week’s kill was posted online.
The 24-year-old Kimble accompanied more than a dozen friends and family on the trip in Pendleton County on Monday. In the video, Kimble is shown firing the musket at the bear in a tree. “Let’s go Mountaineers!” Kimble yells afterward.