Sports

Tennessee hires Jeremy Pruit as new head coach

Tennessee hires Jeremy Pruit as new head coach

Tennessee appears to have its next head coach.

Two years later, Pruitt joined the Tide coaching staff as a graduate assistant.

Tennessee would love to see Pruitt match the success of Georgia's Kirby Smart, who preceded Pruitt as the defensive coordinator on Nick Saban's Alabama staff. He will continue to coach Alabama through the College Football Playoff. If Alabama wins, it will move on to the College Football Playoff National Championship Game on January 8.

Fulmer then reportedly moved on to hiring Pruitt. He agreed to a six-year deal that will pay more than $3.8 million annually. The Seminoles defense also led the nation in interceptions with 26, while they allowed the third fewest yards per game (248.2).

Pruitt has been a part of three other championships as well, helping guide Alabama to national championships (2009, 2011, 2012) as an assistant from 2007 to 2012 before leaving to take over as defensive coordinator at Florida State. Before that he served as the defensive coordinator at Georgia from 2014-15 and at Florida State in 2013.

Pruitt has been Alabama's defensive coordinator since 2016.

But the Vols' missteps in their coaching search could be forgiven if Pruitt delivers in Knoxville.

The Rainsville, Alabama native was a finalist for the 2013 and 2016 Broyles Award, given each year to the best college football assistant coach.

According to reports, the Vols had a deal in place to make the Ohio State coordinator their next head coach, but backed out at the last minute amid on-campus and social media protests against Schiano over his alleged role in the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal at Penn State. The Tide are the fourth seed this year. Pruitt has also coached 11 first-team All-Americans.

Newly named athletics director Phillip Fulmer made the offer to Pruitt early Wednesday after the two sides met multiple times, according to NewsChannel 5 sources. This marks Tennessee's fourth coaching search since Fulmer was forced out in 2008. Pruitt, who is the fourth Saban assistant to become an SEC head coach, is also regarded as one of the top recruiters in the conference.


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