Following an 8-4 season in Knoxville, Butch Jones received a $500,000 raise from Tennessee to jump his annual salary up to $4.1 million. Jones is now the seventh head coach in the SEC making at least $4 million. Last season a total of 16 head coaches in FBS football were paid $4 million, and eight resided in the SEC (four in the Big Ten, three in Big 12, one in ACC).
With the coaching changes in the SEC happening this cycle, Jones would have been paid less than what first-time head coach Kirby Smart is reportedly making at Georgia as head coach ($3.75 million). New Missouri head coach Barry Odom had a contract valued at $2.35 million annually approved by the Missouri board. Going off of the 2015 total pay figures previously documented among SEC coaches, the new contract for Jones will bump the Vols head coach from 12th out of 13 reported salaries up to seventh, nestling him snuggly between Dan Mullen of Mississippi State and Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn.
Jones is one bowl game away from wrapping up his third season at Tennessee. Prior to coming to Tennessee in 2013, Jones coached Central Michigan to a 27-13 record in replacing Brian Kelly from 2007 through 2009. He again replaced Kelly at Cincinnati, coaching the Bearcats to a 23-14 record from 2010 through 2012. Jones has gone 20-17 in his three season at Tennessee, but the win total has increased each of the past two seasons and the Vols won a bowl game last season. Under Jones, Tennessee is 2-13 against top 25 teams.
2015 SEC Coaching Salaries (Total Pay) in 2015 (according to USA Today)
- $7,087,481 – Nick Saban, Alabama
- $5,000,000 – Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
- $4,388,721 – Les Miles, LSU
- $4,310,000 – Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss
- $4,124,000 – Mark Richt, Georgia
- $4,104,500 – Gus Malzahn, Auburn
- $4,028,600 – Steve Spurrier, South Carolina
- $4,000,000 – Dan Mullen, Mississippi State
- $3,983,359 – Jim McElwain, Florida
- $3,960,666 – Bret Bielema, Arkansas
- $3,768,889 – Gary Pinkel, Missouri
- $3,633,000 – Butch Jones, Tennessee
- $3,263,600 – Mark Stoops, Kentucky
Vanderbilt’s coaching salary is not reported for Derek Mason.