Tennessee targeting Butch Jones and Kirby Smart; Tommy Tuberville also in touch

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

After a long search, Tennessee is focusing on Cincinnati's Butch Jones and Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, but is also communicating with Texas Tech's Tommy Tuberville.

Update: Football Scoop reports Jones has an offer.

Tennessee's long and publicly maligned coaching search could finally be coming to a close with two final names: Cincinnati's Butch Jones and Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart.

Multiple sources have confirmed to SB Nation that Jones and Smart are the leading candidates following Louisville head coach Charlie Strong's decision to stay with the Cardinals.

Wes Rucker first reported Jones is Tennessee's top target.

However, the Volunteers have also been in contact with current Texas Tech head coach and SEC veteran Tommy Tuberville, according to a source. Tuberville is a two-time SEC head coach, first with Ole Miss (1995-'98) and then Auburn (1999-'08), where he led the Tigers to an undefeated season in 2004.

As of Thursday evening, Tuberville had not officially interviewed with Tennessee, but had been confirmed as having been in contact with the Volunteers. Jones, who spurned offers from both Purdue and Colorado in the last week, is considered the top choice.

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