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Alabama's Jeremy Pruitt set to take Tennessee gig

08 December, 2017, 01:36 | Author: Christina Hansen
  • Legendary Hoover coach Rush Propst on expected Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt: 'I think he's ready.'

Tennessee has finalized the deal with Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, and the Vols plan to introduce the 43-year-old Pruitt as head coach Thursday evening at a press conference, sources tell ESPN.

Prior to his time in Tuscaloosa, Pruitt served as the defensive coordinator at Georgia (2014-15) and Florida State (2013).

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Twice Pruitt has been named a finalist for the Broyles Award, which goes annually to the top college football assistant coach. This could end up being a great hire by Fulmer. Pruitt is now the fifth-highest paid assistant in the country, making $1.3 million a year.

Born in Rainsville, Alabama, Pruitt has lived and worked in the southeast for most of his life. He will also continue to coach the Crimson Tide defense in the College Football Playoff. In fact, according to a list of salaries released by USA Today earlier this year, he would actually rank No. 73 among college head coaches.

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This will be Pruitt's first head coaching opportunity after a long career as an assistant. This marks Tennessee's fourth coaching search since Fulmer was forced out in 2008.

The story began to pick up steam when Tennessee appeared to have hired Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano. A deal fell apart, though, when fans, the media and even Tennessee politicians reacted negatively to the choice, with some citing Schiano's tenuous links to the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State.

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It will be interesting to see if Copeland becomes the first of what is likely to be many elite prospects that come to Rocky Top to play for Coach Pruitt. Currie also flirted with Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm and N.C. State's Dave Doeren and Washington State's Mike Leach before being replaced by Fulmer.

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