Detroit (AP) — Cincinnati has lured another football coach from Central Michigan.
person familiar with the negotiations said Wednesday that Chippewas
coach Butch Jones has agreed to a 5-year deal with the Bearcats to
replace Brian Kelly. The person spoke to The Associated Press on
condition of anonymity because the contract had not been signed.
marks the second time in three years that the Bearcats turned to the
Mid-American Conference school for their head coach. They hired Kelly
after a three-year stay at Central Michigan, where his spread offense
was one of the nation's best.
Jones then succeeded Kelly at
Central Michigan, keeping the high-powered offensive approach while
building on his success. Central Michigan won the MAC title this season
by beating Ohio and finished the season at No. 25, its first national
Central Michigan athletic director David Heeke, who said
two weeks ago he expected other schools to ask for permission to
interview Jones, did not return a message seeking comment.
(12-0) moved quickly to replace Kelly, who accepted Notre Dame's
coaching job last Thursday. Offensive coordinator Jeff Quinn, who has
been Kelly's assistant for the last 22 years, said Tuesday he hoped to
get the job even though he had no head coaching experience.
was promoted to interim coach when Kelly left, given responsibility for
getting the Bearcats ready to face Florida in the Sugar Bowl on New
Year's Day. The Bearcats are scheduled to resume practice Thursday.
It's unclear whether Jones would coach Cincinnati in its bowl game. The Chippewas will play Troy in the GMAC Bowl on Jan. 6.
offensive philosophy and his familiarity with the Big East worked in
his favor. He was an offensive coordinator at Central Michigan before
moving to West Virginia as an assistant to Rich Rodriguez in 2005-06.
When Kelly left for Cincinnati, he got his job at Central Michigan.
Jones was at West Virginia, the Mountaineers had one of the nation's
top offenses. Next season, Cincinnati will return the nucleus of an
offense that is one of the nation's best.
Jones was a candidate
to replace Rodriguez at West Virginia two years ago after winning his
first MAC title, then Central Michigan responded by giving him a
two-year extension. The school recently offered him a five-year
contract to stay in Mount Pleasant, Mich.
Marshall was also interested in hiring Jones away from the Chippeawas this month.
said he expected to get phone calls from other schools after Central
Michigan beat the Frank Solich-led Bobcats in the MAC championship game.
take it as a compliment when people want to talk to your coach," Heeke
said two weeks ago. "It's been well documented that if you can have
success in this league — as Butch has — you're a good football coach
because you have to do a lot with a little."