Jones, 49, was 34-27 in five seasons at Tennessee.
The news came out Sunday morning that Tennessee has fired head coach Butch Jones, and Hoke will take over for the rest of the year.
Tennessee is winless in SEC conference play this year, including at Kentucky, just their second loss to the wildcats in the last 33 years.
Brady Hoke is expected to be named as interim coach.
"An exhaustive search is underway for a person of the highest integrity and character with the skills and vision to propel Tennessee to championships".
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This is Jones' fifth season on the job and shaping up to be his worst since he went 5-7 upon taking over in 2013. The liquidated damages will be paid in monthly installments through February 28, 2021. But during an injury-plagued 2016 season, the Vols were unable to capitalize on early season wins over Florida and Georgia and lost games to SC and Vanderbilt late in the season to squander a chance to play in their first SEC championship game since 2007, Phillip Fulmer's next-to-last season. They have also lost their last game against each of the other 13 teams in the SEC dating back to 2011. Because Jones was let go without cause, he will be entitled to be paid a buyout of $8,257,580.00, unless there are any deals between the two sides to agree to a reduced buyout. Jones went 3-0 in bowl games with the Vols. He struggled to get the Vols on table footing in SEC competition, posting a 14-24 record against conference foes and was unable to get the program over the hump against rival Florida, Georgia and Alabama consistently.
Jones' resume in Tennessee is more impressive than you might expect with the way the fans have run him out of town.
Jones' squad has been outscored 206-79 in six league games this season. "The Jones family has poured their heart and soul into this Tennessee football program and the Knoxville community". The Vols went 5-7 his first season and improved to 7-5 in his next year to return to a bowl.
"I have tremendous respect for Coach Jones and for (Jones' wife) Barb", Currie said. He was also the head coach at Central Michigan from 2007 to 2009.
Jones' record against each SEC school during his tenure in Knoxville is as follows.