Tennessee To Hire Alabama DC Jeremy Pruitt As Head Coach

Tee Martin Vols

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

Before his coaching career began, Pruitt played college football as a defensive back at Middle Tennessee State before finishing his playing career at Alabama.

Sherrer and Pruitt both joined Georgia's staff prior to the 2014 season. Pruitt, 43, has never been a head coach but served as the defensive coordinator on two championship staffs (Florida State in 2013, Alabama in 2016) and also engineered a pair of Top 16 defenses on a pair of 10-win teams at Georgia. The Crimson Tide are back in the College Football Playoff this year too. Alabama shut out Michigan State, 38-0, in the semifinals, and although Smart's defense allowed 40 points to Clemson in the title game, the Crimson Tide won, 45-40, behind a strong offensive performance.

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It's uncertain whether or not Pruitt will continue out his role at Alabama for the remainder of the season or move on to Tennessee immediately.

That's an annual package worth $3.8 million. The Seminoles led the nation in scoring defense that season en route to a national championship.

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.

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"Six days ago, I mentioned several attributes that I sought to find in the next leader of our football program, and Coach Pruitt meets all criteria" Vols athletic director Phillip Fulmer said in a news release.

"Pruitt is an excellent recruiter and I think he's a good get especially after the debacle of a coaching search that occurred. 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". The Tide are the fourth seed this year. Pruitt was a finalist that year for the Broyles Award, given to the nation's top assistant. "He will do a great job at Tennessee and we wish him the best". Pruitt has also coached 11 first-team All-Americans.

Tennessee was close to hiring Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano in late November, but the deal fell through because of backlash from fans and supporters. However, the search for a new coach had been so unsuccessful that it was even jokingly rumored North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un even turned down the job. And now it appears that Pruitt is pursuing another Colorado State coach, and this coach is also a former Vol player and assistant.

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