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Tennessee Reportedly Set To Hire Alabama DC Jeremy Pruitt, Ending Crazy Search

08 December, 2017, 02:06 | Author: John Swanson
  • Tennessee Reportedly Set To Hire Alabama DC Jeremy Pruitt, Ending Crazy Search

Pruitt becomes the fifth head coach at Tennessee in the past 11 years. ESPN's Chris Low reported, however, that Sherrer is a name to watch for on Pruitt's prospective staff at Tennessee.

In 2007, Pruitt joined Nick Saban's inaugural staff at Alabama under the title director of player personnel.

This season was Pruitt's second stint as an assistant coach with Saban the Alabama Crimson Tide. In 2013, the Rainsville, Alabama native helped guide Florida State to a national championship behind the country's third-ranked defense.

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During Pruitt's time as an assistant coach, he's been part of three championship teams (Florida State in 2013, Alabama in 2011-12).

After the deal died with Schiano, Tennessee was looking to hire Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy, but Gundy turned down a contract worth $42 million to stay in Stillwater, Okla.

Pruitt, who has never been a head coach before, interviewed with new Tennessee athletics director Phillip Fulmer twice this week and quickly emerged as a favorite once Fulmer took control of the coaching search.

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Considering how bad this search has gone for the Vols, I think the hire of Pruitt is a home run.

The 43-year-old is widely recognized as an excellent recruiter and was a Broyles Award finalist in 2016. That means he will basically be working two jobs, game planning for the Tigers while also recruiting and putting together a coaching staff at Tennessee. It closed the year with a 42-24 loss to Vanderbilt, the fourth time in the last six years the Vols lost to the in-state rival they've historically dominated.

According to reports, the Vols had a deal in place to make the Ohio State coordinator their next head coach, but backed out at the last minute amid on-campus and social media protests against Schiano over his alleged role in the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal at Penn State. 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.

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It's a nice fit for both sides. "I'm very excited to get a staff together and get to work with our wonderful student-athletes". Heupel, however, is looking forward to the task ahead. "We need to play smart football but we also have to be physical".

Pruitt has served as defensive coordinator at Alabama since 2016.

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