"As we continue to build and elevate this football program, everything is about a standard of excellence," head coach Butch Jones has said many times over the last year.
Wednesday, Jones' mantra about the standard of excellence took another step forward as the NCAA released the APR numbers for the academic year 2012-2013 academic year. Jones' program made the biggest jump in school history going from 909 the year prior to his arrival to 962 in his first full year. The multi-year number of 932 is an increase from 924 and takes Tennessee over the 930 threshold which means there will be no penalties for the football program. That 962 single year total also means a $50,000 bonus to Jones and is the football programs highest single year number since the creation of the APR 10 years ago.
Establishing that standard on and off the field has been and continues to be a work in progress. In the spring semester of 2013 a semester that started just weeks after Jones' arrival, Jones' program scored a perfect APR score for the semester. A significant accomplishment and a very needed one as the Vols worked themselves out of APR nightmare and announcing last fall that the football program had made their APR number and would not be penalized with a bowl ban for 2014.
Jones vowed his program would never have the kind of issues he inherited when he took the job in December of 2012.
"As I've said many times since learning about our recent APR performance, the academic turnaround for our team in 2012-13 and our entire football program is among the greatest victories in the history of Tennessee football," Jones said in a University release. "Our academic successes are a direct result of the hard work and commitment by our players and our coaching staff, along with improvements within our entire academic structure, led by Dr. Joe Scogin and his outstanding Thornton Center staff.
"We look forward to continued success in the future because of the combination of our academic resources and structure, the priority we place on academic achievement, and our team's commitment to excellence in the classroom."