Butch Jones new Tennessee front-runner, according to report

US PRESSWIRE

The Vols are reportedly interested in the 44-year-old Cincinnati coach.

Update: Add Kirby Smart and possibly Tommy Tuberville to the list.

Update: Football Scoop reports Jones has an offer.

Cincinnati Bearcats coach Butch Jones is the front-runner for the vacant Tennessee head coach job, according to Wes Rucker at Go Vols 24/7. Two days ago, the Vols' search was reportedly down to three candidates -- with Jones not on the list. Jones, meanwhile, was reportedly gone to Colorado before things changed.

Cincy will reportedly have a players meeting early Friday.

Jones has coached the Bearcats since the 2010 season. This year, Jones led Cincinnati to a 9-3 overall record and a 5-2 record in the Big East. The Bearcats will play the Duke Blue Devils in the Belk Bowl on Dec. 27.

Cincinnati is 23-14 in Jones' three years as head coach. The Bearcats were 4-8 in his first season and finished seventh in the Big East, but have won the conference title the last two years.

The Volunteers are trying to replace Derek Dooley, who was fired Nov. 18. Tennessee went 5-7 this season under Dooley. In his three seasons as head coach, the Vols were 15-21 with a 4-19 record in the SEC. His team was 1-14 against the SEC in the past two seasons.

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