Butch Jones Named UC Head Football Coach

New UC head coach Butch Jones

New UC head coach Butch Jones
Football |

Dec. 16, 2009

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CINCINNATI - Butch Jones, who led Central Michigan University to a pair of Mid-American Conference Championships and three-straight bowl appearances, has been named the head football coach at the University of Cincinnati, Director of Athletics Mike Thomas announced on Dec. 16, 2009.

Jones replaces Brian Kelly, who resigned on Dec. 10, 2009 to accept the head football coaching position at the University of Notre Dame.

Jones, who also replaced Kelly at CMU, has continued the program's renaissance, going 27-13 over the past three seasons, winning a pair of MAC Championships (2007, 2009), and playing in three-straight bowl games. He is the only coach in CMU history to lead the team to consecutive bowl games and is the first in MAC history to do it in his first three seasons as head coach.

Central Michigan is 11-2 (8-0 MAC) on the season, ranked No. 25 in the latest Associated Press poll and will play Troy University on Jan. 6, 2010 in the GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Ala.

"Butch Jones has proven himself to be a championship-caliber football coach," Thomas said. "I am impressed by the qualities he brings to the table, his knowledge of the BIG EAST Conference, and his desire to succeed. We're proud to welcome him to the UC family."

Jones coached 31 all-MAC performers, including two-time MAC Offensive Player of the Year and 2009 MAC Vern Smith Leadership Award winner Dan LeFevour, and two-time MAC Special Teams Player of the Year Antonio Brown. Under his tutelage, 13 student-athletes earned Academic all-MAC accolades.



LeFevour has 148 career touchdowns (101 passing, 46 rushing and one receiving), an NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision record, which he previously shared with Texas Tech's Graham Harrell and Hawaii's Colt Brennan. LeFevour has thrown 101 career TDs, which is the most in MAC history.

CMU was 22-3 against MAC opponents during Jones' tenure, including victories in the 2007 and 2009 MAC Championship Games. The Chippewas were 12-1 in MAC road games under Jones.

In 2007, Jones became only the ninth first-year head coach to lead his team to a Mid-American Conference championship. The Chippewas' eight victories marked the second-most of any CMU coach in his debut season, and Jones was one of three first-year head coaches nationwide to coach in a bowl game.

The Chippewas clinched the 2007 MAC West Division title with a 34-31 win at Western Michigan, CMU's first win in Kalamazoo since 1993. CMU went on to defeat Miami (OH), 35-10, four weeks later in the MAC Championship Game, a win that secured the Chippewas a spot in the Motor City Bowl.

The 2008 season was highlighted by another win over Western Michigan, 38-28, in front of a record crowd at Kelly/Shorts Stadium and a 37-34 win on the road at Indiana. The victory over the Hoosiers was CMU's first against a Big Ten opponent since 1992. CMU capped the 2008 season with its third consecutive appearance in the Motor City Bowl.

CMU led the MAC in both all-conference and academic all-conference selections in 2007, and the Chippewas' seven All-MAC first team selections in 2008 were the most for the program since 1990. Over the past two years, CMU has collected the league's offensive player of the year (Dan LeFevour, 2007, '09), freshman of the year (Antonio Brown, 2007) and special teams player of the year (Antonio Brown, 2008, '09) honors. LeFevour earned the offensive player of the year accolade after becoming just the second player in NCAA history to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in the same season.

A native of Michigan and a former offensive coordinator at CMU, Jones returned to Mount Pleasant after spending the 2005 and 2006 seasons as an assistant coach under Rich Rodriguez at West Virginia University. West Virginia, employing a spread offensive attack, ranked second in Division I-A in rushing offense (303.0 ypg), third in scoring offense (38.9 ppg) and fifth in total offense (461.4 ypg) in 2006.

Jones translated that success to CMU. In 2007, the Chippewas were the only team to rank in the top four in the MAC in scoring offense (first, 33.8 ppg), total offense (second, 447.9 ypg), rushing offense (third, 182.8 ypg) and passing offense (fourth, 265.1 ypg). In 2008, CMU ranked second in the conference in both passing (289.8 ypg) and total offense (423.5), and the passing attack ranked 12th nationally.

CMU scored 30 or more points in 16 games during Jones' tenure; the Chippewas posted at least 40 points seven times, including three 50-point efforts. The 2007 and 2008 campaigns are the program's highest scoring seasons since CMU joined the MAC in 1975.

In two seasons at West Virginia, Jones was part of teams that recorded back-to-back 11-win campaigns, a pair of top-10 national rankings and victories in the 2006 Sugar Bowl and 2007 Gator Bowl.

Jones spent a total of 11 seasons as an assistant at the Division I-A level. He served as the offensive coordinator at three different schools, spanning eight seasons, and worked directly with 24 all-conference selections in 15 years as a full-time position coach.

Jones filled a variety of roles during his first stint at CMU (1998-2004), including serving as offensive coordinator from 2001-03. The Chippewas averaged just 271.5 yards per game and 12.5 points per game in 2000; in 2001, Jones' first season directing the offense, those averages jumped to 379.5 yards per game and 22.8 points per game, respectively. He coached three different running backs who earned first or second team all-MAC honors.

A 1990 graduate of Ferris State University where he was a two-year letterman on the football team, Jones broke into the coaching ranks while still an undergraduate by serving as intern for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1987-89. He spent the 1990-92 seasons as a graduate assistant at Rutgers University before taking over as the offensive coordinator at Wilkes University in 1993. He directed an offense at Wilkes that led the Middle Atlantic Conference in both scoring offense, and total offense in 1993, a season in which it won a conference title and qualified for the NCAA Division III Playoffs.

Jones returned to his alma mater in 1995 as a running backs coach, only to be promoted to offensive coordinator for the 1996 season. The Bulldogs, while leading the Midwestern Intercollegiate Football Conference in total offense and scoring offense, won a second consecutive MIFC championship in 1996 and advanced to the NCAA Division II Quarterfinals.

Jones, 41, and his wife Barb are the parents of three children: Alex, Adam, and Andrew.

The Bearcats are 12-0 and recently won their second consecutive BIG EAST Conference championship. Unranked in preseason polls, UC's undefeated regular season catapulted the Bearcats to No. 3 in the BCS standings earned an invitation to the Allstate Sugar Bowl, UC's second-consecutive BCS game.

No. 3 UC is 12-0 on the season and earned its second-straight BIG EAST title. The Bearcats will close out the season in the 2010 Allstate Sugar Bowl against No. 5 Florida. The game is set for Jan. 1, 2010 at 8:30 p.m. EST in the Louisiana Superdome, and will be televised by FOX.

THE Butch Jones FILE
Date of Birth: Jan. 17, 1968 in Saugatuck, Mich.
High School: Saugatuck (Mich.)
Education: Ferris State (1990)
Wife: Barb
Children: Alex, Adam, Andrew


Years Position Team
1987-89 Intern Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1990-92 Graduate Assistant Rutgers
1993-94 Offensive Coordinator Wilkes
1995 Running Backs Ferris State
1996-97 Offensive Coordinator Ferris State
1998 Tight Ends Central Michigan
1999 Wide Receivers Central Michigan
2000 Running Backs Central Michigan
2001-03 Offensive Coordinator Central Michigan
2004 Running Backs Central Michigan
2005-06 Wide Receivers West Virginia
2007-09 Head Coach Central Michigan
2009- Head Coach Cincinnati


Year School Overall Conference
2007 Central Michigan 8-6 6-1
MAC Champions, Motor City Bowl
2008 Central Michigan 8-5 6-2
Motor City Bowl
2009 Central Michigan 11-2 8-0
MAC Champions, Motor City Bowl
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