Jeremy Pruitt officially new UT head coach
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Tennessee has officially chosen Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt as the Vols 26th head coach.
It’s been a rocky few weeks up in Rocky Top, especially for the beloved painted rock.
Now we can rest easy. A coach has been chosen, and he’s coming to Knoxville with a very impressive resume.
“If you just work hard, keep working, do your job, don’t worry about the next job, do a great job at the job you got, opportunities happen,” said new Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt.
The son of a high school football coach, Jeremy Pruitt has wanted to be a football coach since he was two years old.
He’s helped coach four teams to a national championship game, including the undefeated 20-13 Florida State Seminoles.
He’s worn garnet, red and black, and crimson. Now he’s ready to wear orange, and ready to get Tennessee’s top talent in orange too.
“My vision for our football team is we want to be a big, fast, dominating, aggressive, relentless football team that nobody in the SEC wants to play,” Pruitt said.
Pruitt says recruiting starts tomorrow, but he will be finishing out the playoff season with Alabama.
Pruitt signed a six-year deal with the Big Orange and will be paid 4-million dollars a year.
“There was a time and place where this university was feared among the SEC. My goal as the head football coach at the university of tennessee is to get us back to that point,” Pruitt said.
Here’s a summary of Pruitt’s past coaching experience, courtesy of UT Athletics:
Pruitt becomes the 26th head coach in Tennessee football history. He takes the helm of the Volunteers program after cementing himself as the nation’s top defensive coordinator during stints at Alabama (2016-17), Georgia (2014-15) and Florida State (2013).
The Rainsville, Alabama, native was part of three national championships (2009, 2011, 2012) on the staff of the Crimson Tide from 2007 to 2012 and was the defensive coordinator during the Seminoles’ undefeated national championship season in 2013. He was a standout high school coach before joining the Alabama staff as the Director of Player Development in 2007. Pruitt played college football at Middle Tennessee and for the Crimson Tide.
The two-time Broyles Award finalist owns a 128-31 record as a collegiate assistant coach and was named the National Recruiter of the Year by 247Sports in 2012.
He has coached 34 NFL Draft picks and 11 first-team All-Americans. The list of players coached by Pruitt reads like a who’s who of college football’s top defensive standouts this decade and includes Butkus Award (nation’s top LB) winner Reuben Foster, National Defensive Player of the Year Jonathan Allen, top 10 NFL draft picks Jalen Ramsey, Leonard Floyd, Mark Barron and Dee Milliner, and current NFL stars Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Dre Kirkpatrick, Lamarcus Joyner and Telvin Smith.
Pruitt served as the defensive coordinator/inside linebackers coach during his second stint with the Crimson Tide in 2016 and 2017, leading an Alabama team that topped the nation in scoring defense and advanced to the College Football Playoff both seasons.
Prior to his return to Alabama, Pruitt was the defensive coordinator/secondary coach for two seasons at Georgia, guiding the nation’s No. 1 pass defense in 2015 and leading a squad that finished in the top 20 nationally in scoring defense, pass defense and total defense in 2014.
Pruitt’s first defensive coordinator job came at Florida State in 2013 where he also coached the defensive backs. The Seminoles led the nation in scoring defense (12.1 ppg), pass defense (156.6) and interceptions (26) en route to a 14-0 record and the BCS National Championship in his lone season with the Garnet and Gold.
Pruitt served as the defensive backs coach at Alabama from 2010 to 2012, helping the Crimson Tide win back-to-back BCS National Championships in 2011 and 2012.