Tennessee hires Alabama assistant Jeremy Pruitt as coach

Esther Moore
December 8, 2017

Jeremy Pruitt hasn't even gone through his official introductory press conference as Tennessee's new head coach yet and he's already been working on putting together his staff with the Vols.

Pruitt's hiring comes six days after former Tennessee football coach Phillip Fulmer was named athletic director and put in charge of the coaching search.

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. This could end up being a great hire by Fulmer.

Since taking over as the leading man for the Crimson Tide defense, Alabama has ranked first (2017) and second (2016) in total defense. "Now I'm not sure that he can go in and steal Alabama commits this year, especially given the short window of time, but the future is bright from a recruiting standpoint".

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Pruitt is the 26th head coach in Tennessee football history. Once word leaked that Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano had been tabbed for the job, an outcry from alumni, fans, former players and politicians ultimately squashed the deal. The Crimson Tide are back in the College Football Playoff this year too.

Later, former Vols offensive coordinator David Cutcliffee rebuffed Tennessee's advances and then Mike Gundy turned down a reported $42 million deal to stay at Oklahoma State.

At long last, the mother of all coaching searches is over. Then Tennessee went after Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm, but it's unclear if there was any truth to that, so the next coach in line was N.C. State's Dave Doeren who also turned down the job.

FILE - In this March 23, 2016, file photo, Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt works with players during NCAA college football practice in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

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