Butch Jones has been on a journey.
The new Arkansas State head coach had stops at Central Michigan (2007-09), Cincinnati (2010-12) and Tennessee (2013-17). His next stop following his firing in Knoxville was Tuscaloosa with Nick Saban.
For a struggling coach trying to rebuild his brand, the move to join Alabama’s staff made sense. His role, assistant to the head coach, was odd, but Jones made it work. And now, he’ll have another shot to lead a program.
All that has made Jones a little emotional. His time with Saban — and Saban’s wife, Miss Terry — obviously left a lasting impression, and he recognized that during his opening press conference as the Red Wolves head coach.
Butch Jones gets emotional talking about Alabama, Saban. pic.twitter.com/dh2BJFfrLO
— Michael Casagrande (@ByCasagrande) December 17, 2020
For those who can’t watch the video.
“The biggest thank you, and I’m going to get emotional, is Coach Saban and his wife, Miss Terry. And really to the entire Alabama football family.”
There is obviously a lot of appreciation there. Yes, Jones was on the receiving end of a lot of jokes on social media, but the relationship between the Crimson Tide and Jones was mutually beneficial.
The players loved him, and he loved them.
Now, he’s reunited with former Alabama quarterback Layne Hatcher in Jonesboro.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.