After just one season on the Alabama Crimson Tide football staff as an analyst, Butch Jones could be moving on to a larger role elsewhere.
Jones has been offered an associate head coach position with the Maryland Terrapins, FootballScoop reported on Monday. Maryland announced the hire of Alabama offensive coordinator Mike Locksley to be its new head coach last Tuesday.
Jones, who was fired after the 2017 season following nearly five seasons as the Tennessee Volunteers head coach, joined the Alabama staff as an offensive analyst prior to the 2018 campaign. In that role, Jones was not allowed to work with the Crimson Tide players. But the offer from Locksley would include oversight of the offense, per the report. FootballScoop is also reporting that Tee Martin, who was let go from his offensive coordinator post by USC Trojans head coach Clay Helton at the end of this season, has been approached about potentially taking the offensive coordinator opening on the Terrapins staff.
Alabama co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Josh Gattis was reportedly Locksley’s initial choice for the Maryland offensive coordinator, but Gattis is in the mix for the Appalachian State head coach job, which was vacated after Scott Satterfield accepted the same role at Louisville. Alabama coach Nick Saban wants to keep Gattis and he could potentially make an effort to keep Jones as well, per FootballScoop.
Last week, Jones was in Knoxville at South Doyle High School recruiting for the Crimson Tide.
Jones was presumably checking in on 2020 4-star wide receiver Elijah Young, the No. 38 wideout in the country, per the industry-generated 247Sports Composite Rankings. The visit comes amidst a busy time for the Tide staff as we’ve seen Saban and his assistants span the country visiting top targets and evaluating underclassmen talent during the Contact Period.
“Butch can’t coach the players,” Saban said earlier this season. “He works hard in terms of assisting our coaches in planning and preparation. Butch is a very bright guy, and he’s done a really good job of that. Basically what he does is assist Mike (Locksley) as much as possible and always gives me a little summary of things that he thinks we need to work on on offense and just from an overall view from a thousand feet type of thing, which has been very helpful.”
Following Locksley to Maryland may get Jones one step closer to an opportunity to be a head coach again.
“I think that the No. 1 thing is they create value in our program,” Saban said about employing Jones and other former head coaches on the staff as analysts. “But the No. 2 thing is I have a tremendous amount of respect for what those guys did wherever they were in playing against them. So, I think that that enhances my sort of respect for them and how they can benefit our program. And if it helps them get back on track, then that’s a real bonus for them, and we appreciate what they did for us in helping our program.
“Hopefully, they’ll get a better opportunity because of that.”