Sports

Colorado Officials Make Pitch To Former Central Coach Jones

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LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 29: Head coach Butch Jones of the Cincinnati Bearcats hugs receiver Damon Julia #16 after his team defeated the Virginia Tech Hokies 27-24 at FedExField on September 29, 2012 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)

LANDOVER, MD – SEPTEMBER 29: Head coach Butch Jones of the Cincinnati Bearcats hugs receiver Damon Julia #16 after his team defeated the Virginia Tech Hokies 27-24 at FedExField on September 29, 2012 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)

ARNIE STAPLETON,AP Sports Writer

Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn made his pitch to Cincinnati football coach Butch Jones on Monday.

“A productive day,” is how Bohn described the meetings that lasted about six hours at Folsom Field, the Buffaloes’ football stadium.

Jones is Bohn’s top target in his search to replace Jon Embree, who was fired last week with three years left on his contract after going 4-21 in two seasons.

Jones and his wife, Barbara, flew back to Cincinnati on Monday night after spending most of the day meeting with Bohn and other Colorado officials.

The Denver Post said a decision whether to leave Cincinnati for Boulder, Colo., is expected on Tuesday.

Jones is scheduled to meet with the media in Cincinnati on Tuesday to discuss the Bearcats’ upcoming bowl game.

Jones also is being courted by Purdue. He met with Boilermakers officials Sunday in a quick trip to the West Lafayette, Ind., campus.

Among those in attendance at the meetings on the Colorado campus were Jones’ agent, Trace Armstrong, university president Bruce Benson and school chancellor Phil DiStefano.

The Buffaloes are reportedly ready to offer Jones $13.5 million over five years, a hefty jump from the less than $1 million annual salary Embree received. That would make Jones the highest-paid coach in school history.

Jones, who made about $1.5 million this season, is 50-27 as a head coach, including 23-14 in three seasons at Cincinnati. The Bearcats (9-3) are preparing to face Duke (6-6) in the Belk Bowl on Dec. 27 in Charlotte, N.C.

Jones followed Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly at Cincinnati and also at Central Michigan, where Jones was 27-13 in three seasons beginning in 2004.

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AP Freelancer Monica Costello in Boulder, Colo., contributed to this report.

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Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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