Butch Jones calls NCAA’s approval of 10th assistant coach ‘greatly needed’


KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A 10th assistant football coach is coming to Rocky Top.

The NCAA approved a reform package on Friday, which will add a 10th on-field assistant effective Jan. 8, 2018. The decision to begin this addition in 2018 boils down to money. While large universities with big budgets like Tennessee could add an assistant this week, smaller programs need more time to plan for the future. Regardless of the start date, Butch Jones said this is something that was greatly needed.

“I do think it’s healthy when you look at the player to coach ratio,” Jones said. “I believe if you look at all of the sports, football is the lowest.”

The addition will open 128 jobs for coaches, extra help for the head coaches and give extra attention to players. Jones says he’s already put time into thinking about the upcoming opening.

“That’s something that we’ve been prepared for for a long time and everything is about the structure of your staff and what’s needed and kind of a balancing act from personality to recruiting to positional so again we’ll have a plan in place.”

Along with the coaching addition, the NCAA voted to allow players to sign with schools as early as December. A new rule will also allow high school juniors to take official visits from April through June. The signing period change is expected to take effect Aug. 1.

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