Report: Tennessee Vols finalize deal with Jeremy Pruitt to become next head coach

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - A deal to make Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt the 24th head football coach at Tennessee has been finalized, according to ESPN.

Chris Low reported that a press conference is slated for Thursday evening to introduce Pruitt as the next coach of the Vols.

According to reporter Bruce Feldman, Pruitt's deal is expected to be for six years. Pruitt is currently the fifth-highest paid assistant in the country, making $1.3 million a year. 

Pruitt, 43, has been the defensive coordinator at Alabama under Nick Saban at Alabama since 2016. During that time, the Crimson Tide appeared in the College Football Playoff both years, losing to Clemson in the national championship game in 2016. The Tide are the fourth seed this year.

Prior to his time in Tuscaloosa, Pruitt served as the defensive coordinator at Georgia (2014-15) and Florida State (2013). He also worked at Alabama as an assistant coach from 2007-2012.

Pruitt, who was a defensive back at MTSU (1993-94) and Alabama (1995-96) also appeared on the MTV TV series Two-A-Days while he was an assistant coach at Hoover High School in Alabama.

Pruitt won three national championships (2009, 2011 and 2012) while at Alabama. He won a fourth title at Florida State in 2013. 

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

Pruitt’s teams put up impressive defensive numbers, often ranking in the top 10 in the country in points and yards per game. 

2013: Florida State: 1st in points per game, 3rd in yards per game
2014: Georgia: 25th in points per game, 18th in yards per game
2015: Georgia: 9th in points per game, 8th in yards per game 
2016: Alabama 1st in points per game, 1st in yards per game
2017: Alabama: 1st in points per game, 2nd in yards per game

No college team Pruitt has coached for has had a losing record. Those teams are 130-21 overall (73-15 in conference). 

He has also had success on the recruiting trail, bringing in 11 five-star recruits (six as the primary recruiter) and 28 four-star recruits (15 as primary). Elite Pruitt recruits who have found success in the NFL include Alabama running back Derrick Henry and Florida State cornerback Jalen Ramsey. He has landed recruits from 12 different states, including 15 from Florida, 15 from Alabama and two from Tennessee.

Between high school state titles and collegiate-level championships, Pruitt won six championships in ten years (2004-13)

His first job was a P.E. teacher for kindergarten through second graders. His father, Dale, was his high school coach at Plainview High School in Rainsville. 

Pruitt and his wife, Casey, have two sons, Ridge and Jayse. 

 


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