Tennessee Vols Hire Jeremy Pruitt To Replace Butch Jones

Jeremy Pruitt Alabama

A deal to make Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt the next head football coach at Tennessee, has been finalized, according to ESPN.

Pruitt, though, was never a head coach at even the high school level. During that time, the Crimson Tide appeared in the College Football Playoff both years, losing to Clemson in the national championship game in 2016. Pruitt left the program for Alabama before the Bulldogs' TaxSlayer Bowl game against Penn State. As an assistant coach, he has been a part of four national championship teams.

For Volunteers' athletic director Phillip Fulmer, he should look no further than sophomore linebacker Mack Wilson as to how much Pruitt cares about the team he coaches.

Sources say the contract is believed to around $4 million annually and Pruitt will be introduced later this afternoon in a formal press conference. The Seminoles defense also led the nation in interceptions with 26, while they allowed the third fewest yards per game (248.2).

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Prior to his time in Tuscaloosa, Pruitt served as the defensive coordinator at Georgia (2014-15) and Florida State (2013). I would temper expectations on the field as some people expect a Kirby Smart turnaround because of the similarities (defensive coordinator coming from Alabama staying in SEC with no head coaching experience) because he doesn't have the same roster to work with, but recruiting should go well.

The search also led to former athletics director John Currie's ouster, which came not too long after it was believed he was set to hire Washington State head coach Mike Leach. Pruitt is now the fifth-highest paid assistant in the country, making $1.3 million a year.

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

Tennessee was close to hiring Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano on November 26 before that deal fell through amid a public backlash. 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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