Report: UK offers job to Cincinnati’s Butch Jones

Update: UK is denying the report, saying it has not offered job to anyone.

Bearcat Lair, the 247 site for University of Cincinnati sports, is reporting that Kentucky has offered its head coaching position to UC head coach Butch Jones.

No confirmation yet on whether the report is true.

Jones was mentioned early as a possibility for the UK opening after Joker Phillips was fired two weeks ago. Speculation about Jones died down a bit, but has picked back up over the weekend.

Jones was an assistant under Brian Kelly at Central Michigan, then became head coach there when Kelly left for Cincinnati. When Kelly left UC for Notre Dame, Jones was named head coach there. He is 21-14 as Cincinnati coach, with a 10-9 record in the Big East.

The Bearcats are 7-3 this year after losing 10-3 to Rutgers last night. They are 3-2 in the conference, with their other loss coming to Louisville.

Hat tip to Eric Crawford.

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  1. My first thought? Disappointing.

  2. operationruse says:

    Solid hire if true and he accepts. He (or any other coach for that matter) will have to recruit significantly better than Joker did to be successful. Check out how Vandy’s James Franklin has done in terms of recruiting since he got the job. No way I would have believed they could ever put together such highly ranked classes. The highly ranked guys he initially got all said that they believed they were going to be part of building something for the future (similar to the U.K. Corey Peters M. Johnson class of 2005-06). Now Franklin has the record (8 or 9 wins possible) to look even higher ranked guys in the face and say, “see, you can believe in me.” Jones can play this angle if he gets going right now, and if he has even moderate success (6 wins) next season compared to last year the thing can just snowball (assuming he is a good salesman). One of U.K.’s biggest blunders was failing to capitalize on the 2006 and 2007 seasons. Also, please don’t try to say the highly rated guys (M. Newton) just did not work out. is the only service that had that class ranked very high (M. Newton was a 3 star on Rivals). Recruiting rankings, as we all know, are far from an exact science. They are, however, the best prosepective thing we have to judge recruiting. You want to have a high composite ranking among all services, not just one outlier. Vandy’s recruiting the last two years (counting the commits this season) blows away anything Kentucky has done since the recruiting sites began.

  3. operationruse says:

    U.K. threw some cold water on that one pretty quick.

  4. b_man says:

    Let’s see, he just over .500 in the Big East and we want him to coach us in the SEC? About what all the loyal fans expected….forever Cellar Dweller’s.

  5. Brad Hamilton says:

    The chase begins with Dooley being let go today. I see some quick moves to secure someone before the bowl games. Phil Fulmer was the talk of the stadium.

  6. CliffBevins says:

    If that’s the best that Barnhart can do Re-hire Joker.

  7. john says:

    UK denies- that means the report is either untrue….or Butch Jones didn’t accept.

  8. tim adams says:

    This is Tim Adams, co-owner of, and we did NOT report that UK offered Butch Jones the head football job at UK.

    This is simply irresponsible journalism.

  9. Wade says:

    What exactly did report? And irresponsible journalism by who?

  10. Wade says:

    Yes, I saw that report, but I’m wondering if there was actually a story on that said something. From what they’re saying, this report was never a report, and was instead a post made on their message boards by someone using a fake name. Is that true? Thanks for the info.

  11. John Clay says:

    There was not an actual story, just the post on the message board which was taken to be posted by a staff member. Bearcat Lair says that was not the case.