Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Sport | By Floyd Cook

Former UGA assistant Pruitt accepts Tennessee job

Former UGA assistant Pruitt accepts Tennessee job

Pruitt is the 26th head coach in Tennessee football history.

Chris Low reported that a press conference is slated for Thursday evening to introduce Pruitt as the next coach of the Vols. From 2014-15, Pruitt coordinated the No. 7 and No. 17 overall defense in the country while at Georgia.

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.

There aren't many sure things in college football, but if Pruitt delivers on his promise to build a top notch staff, I think the Vols could be competing for SEC championships under Pruitt within a few years. Under Pruitt, Alabama ranked No. 1 nationally in scoring defense, No. 1 in yards per play and No. 2 in total defense in 2017.

He was a marquee component in four national titles during the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) era, including three with the Crimson Tide in 2009, 2011 and 2012.

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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. He agreed to a six-year deal that will pay more than $3.8 million annually. He has also worked under Saban, serving as Alabama's director of player development from 2010-12.

After a long 25 day search that saw a coach signed (and then subsequently "unsigned"), multiple offers extended and an athletic director fired, the Tennessee Vols finally have Butch Jones' replacement.

The Rainsville, Alabama native was a finalist for the 2013 and 2016 Broyles Award, given each year to the best college football assistant coach. The Tide are the fourth seed this year. Pruitt and Sherrer also coached together at Hoover High School from 2005-06 when Pruitt served as the defensive coordinator and Sheerer as a defensive assistant. 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.

Pruitt was also a recent finalist for the Mississippi State head coaching position, but the Bulldogs hired Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead on November 28.

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