Will Butch Jones be the next person to go through Nick Saban’s career rejuvenation process?
Per Matt Zenitz of AL.com, Jones and Saban have been discussing the possibility of the former Tennessee coach joining the Alabama staff in an offensive analyst position.
Jones, who was fired by Tennessee as its coach in November after five seasons in Knoxville, has a background in offense, starting as the running back coach at Ferris State in 1995. He later became the offensive coordinator there for two seasons before accepting the tight end coaching position at Central Michigan. He remained with the Chippewas in various roles until 2004.
After serving as the wide receivers coach at West Virginia from 2005-06, he returned to Central Michigan as its new coach. He was successful at the MAC school, ultimately earning the coaching position at Cincinnati before finally arriving at Tennessee.
Saban has brought in coaches down on their luck such as Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian in analyst roles during the past few seasons, with both earning a bigger job after a season or two in Tuscaloosa. Jones, who struggled to win over the Tennessee fan base during his five seasons that were mostly mediocre, could use time under Saban’s tutelage to learn and revamp his reputation.
Alabama will have a new offensive coordinator in 2018 in Mike Locksley, who was promoted to the position in January after Brian Daboll, who spent just one season in Tuscaloosa, accepted the offensive coordinator position for the Buffalo Bills.
Jones isn’t the only former SEC coach who has been rumored for an offensive analyst position with Alabama this offseason, as former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze was seen in Tuscaloosa meeting with Saban and the staff in January. Nothing came of the meetings, as Freeze is still looking to return to football after his sudden dismissal from Ole Miss last summer.
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