Arkansas State hired former Tennessee coach Butch Jones as its new head coach Saturday.
Jones has spent the last three seasons in an off-the-field role at Alabama under Nick Saban.
He replaces Blake Anderson, who left Arkansas State to become Utah State’s new head coach. Utah State announced it had hired Anderson about an hour before Arkansas State made the hiring of Jones official.
Jones spent five seasons as coach of the Volunteers, going 34-27, though just 14-24 in the Southeastern Conference.
Before that Jones had successful stints at Cincinnati (23-14 in three seasons) and Central Michigan (27-13). Jones' teams have gone to bowl games in eight of his 11 seasons as a head coach.
His time in the SEC was rocky, but not without some high points. He had consecutive nine wins seasons in 2015 and ’16, but could never breakthrough with an SEC East championship and was fired 10 games into the 2017 season with a 4-6 record.
“Butch Jones’ outstanding record of success at both the G5 and P5 levels is evident, and we’re excited to having him leading our football program into the future,” Arkansas State athletic director Terry Mohajir said in a statement. “He is the only coach over the last 12 years to lead Tennessee to back-to-back nine win seasons, and he led Cincinnati and Central Michigan to four conference championships over a six-year period."
Anderson left after seven seasons with a 51-37 record and two Sun Belt championships. The Red Wolves have been one of the most consistent programs in the conference, though they slipped to 4-7 this year.