New University of Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones has been hustling to make his rounds across the state since being hired in early December.
Local Vol and college football fans will get their chance to meet Jones soon.
Jones will be the guest speaker at the inaugural Pigskin Banquet — an event that will benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Northwest Tennessee — Saturday, May 4, at UT Martin’s Grand Ballroom.
Tickets to the event are $75 apiece for adults (ages 13 and over) and $35 for children (12-and-under). There will be 15 premium tables — each seating eight people — available for $1,200.
Coach Jones will visit with and have his photo made with each VIP table, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
The program will begin at 7:05, and dinner will be served at 7:15 with Jones speaking at 7:35.
Tickets are available at Union City Insurance, Reelfoot Bank, Kizer Pharmacy, Alexander, Thompson and Arnold, First Citizens Bank, Lanzer’s and Commercial Bank in Union City. Westan Insurance in Martin and Reelfoot Bank in Martin are also ticket outlets.
Boys and Girls Club chief volunteer officer Portis Tanner is among the many excited about the coach’s upcoming visit.
“The excitement of Tennessee Volunteer football is back throughout the state and much of that credit goes to Coach Jones,” he said, noting that fans are talking enthusiastically about what the future holds for Tennessee football. “And for us to have him coming to northwest Tennessee is a thrill for us and a benefit for the Boys and Girls Club.
“And Coach Jones has told our representatives he’s excited about spending time up here, so it should be a memorable event for everyone.”
Jones was hired as the 24th head football coach in University of Tennessee history late last year, replacing Derek Dooley.
The new Volunteer skipper had spent the three previous seasons at the University of Cincinnati, where he went 23-14 (.657).
Before that, he was the head coach at Central Michigan for three years from 2007-09 — his teams compiling a 27-13 (.675) mark.
Jones’ teams have won at least eight games in five of his six seasons as a head coach, winning four conference championships in the Mid-American and Big East Conference, respectively, during that time. He earned Big East Coach of the Year honors after his 10-win season with the Bearcats in 2011.
Jones-led squads have played in bowl games in five of his six seasons.
Cincinnati went 9-3 last fall in Jones’ final season at the helm led by a defense that ranked 12th in the nation in points allowed.
Before becoming a head coach, Jones served as an assistant at West Virginia, Central Michigan, his alma mater at Ferris State, Wilkes University and at Rutgers.
His first coaching job was as an intern with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Published in The Messenger 4.12.13