Volunteers extend Butch Jones

The Tennessee Volunteers and coach Butch Jones have agreed to a two-year contract extension through 2020 that is worth $3.6 million per season, the university announced Monday.

Jones, in his second year leading the Vols, led the program to a 6-6 record and its first bowl berth in four seasons.

"Butch Jones is our coach and going to be our coach for a long time," athletic director Dave Hart said. "When building a program, you have plenty of challenges in changing a culture. We have the right man in Butch Jones. He possesses a very unique skill set. I value our relationship personally and professionally."

Jones had been making $2.95 million per season. Hart also announced the Vols' assistants will get a raise.

In eight seasons as coach at Tennessee, Cincinnati and Central Michigan, Jones has a career winning percentage of .604 (61-40) and has led his teams to eight bowl appearances.

"I am very honored and grateful to be the head football coach at the University of Tennessee, and I understand what this program represents," Jones said in a statement. "This has been a complete team effort as we continue to rebuild and restore the Tennessee football program to the standards and expectations that we all have."

Jones showed his recruiting skills in February by signing a class that was ranked among the top five in the nation by multiple recruiting services. Tennessee has played 23 true freshmen this season, the most of any Football Bowl Subdivision program. Tennessee started only three seniors when it beat Vanderbilt 24-17 in its regular-season finale.

Tennessee had an average announced home attendance of 99,754 this season. That represented a 4.4 percent increase over 2013 and a 10.9 percent rise from 2012, the year before Jones' arrival.

Hart noted that Tennessee also had upgraded its classroom performance under Jones. Tennessee had been at risk of facing penalties until it dramatically improved its performance last year in the Academic Progress Rate, which the NCAA uses as a real-time academic measure of every Division I team. Tennessee's football APR solely for 2012-13 was the highest score in program history.

"It is my belief that you should reward people for performance, not whether you think others are coming after him," Hart said.

Tennessee will play Iowa in the TaxSlayer Bowl on Jan. 2 in Jacksonville, Florida.