Butch Jones leaving CMU to coach Cincinnati

According to Central Michigan beat writer Drew Ellis of the Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun, Butch Jones is negotiating with Cincinnati to become its next head football coach.

If Jones reaches a deal, he will replace Brian Kelly, who left the Bearcats following a 12-0 season in 2009 and a Big East Championship. Kelly left Cincinnati to take over the head coaching position at Notre Dame.

Jones replaced Kelly at Central Michigan after Kelly left CMU to become head coach of the Bearcats following the 2006 season, when he won a Mid-American Conference title.

In three years as head coach, Jones has won two MAC titles and just recently led the Chippewas into the top 25 rankings for the first time in school history.

ESPN.com is also reporting that Jones is heading to Cincinnati.

If you’re Cincinnati, why not go back to the same well? CMU produced Kelly and Jones had an even better track record in Mt. Pleasant, so it makes sense that the Bearcats tabbed him to run their program.

Jones did a hell of a job at CMU, especially with the development of quarterback Dan LeFevour. This past season, the Chippewas ranked 33rd in the nation in total offense and 17th in scoring offense. They averaged over 33 points per game and Jones runs a spread offense similar to the one Kelly does, so he should make a smooth transition. He’ll also love working with quarterback Zach Collaros, who much like LeFevour, runs well.

While this is disappointing news for the Central Michigan program, at least Jones didn’t hide the fact that he was moving on to a bigger program. Kelly ditched his team right before a bowl game (sound familiar Cincinnati?) to coach the Bearcats, where as Jones has been upfront about the situation. With LeFevour graduating and Jones moving on, the Chippewas have to rebuild for next season.

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