Tennessee hires Jeremy Pruitt as next head football coach

Jeremy Pruitt Alabama

A news conference is planned for Thursday in Knoxville to introduce Pruitt, who replaces Butch Jones. A year later as the defensive coordinator it was Pruitt who successfully figured out how to stop then-Nease (Fla.) quarterback Tim Tebow.

Throughout his impressive time as an assistant coach, Pruitt has coached 34 National Football League draft picks. And a school that managed to play football for 120 years before suffering its first eight-loss season deserved better from its administrators. Like Kirby Smart two years ago, Pruitt is expected to juggle both roles - Vols head coach and Alabama DC - during the Tide's playoff run.

But if Fulmer has really gotten Pruitt to abandon his alma mater to take over the Vols, Tennessee may have just found the guy to make the Big Orange Nation quickly forget everything negative that has happened since John Currie, the AD at the time, fired Butch Jones on November 12.

Per ESPN's Mark Schlabach, Georgia outside linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer could be a replacement for Pruitt, if and when he becomes Tennessee's coach. Last year, Pruitt's defense led the nation in scoring defense, giving up just 13 points per game.

Tennessee has ended the most tortured football coaching search imaginable and hired Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, according to reports.

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Pruitt, 43, is a two-time Broyles Award finalist as the top assistant coach in college football.

In 2007, Alabama hired him to work with the defense.

Prior to his time in Tuscaloosa, Pruitt served as the defensive coordinator at Georgia (2014-15) and Florida State (2013). It would also help with the staff transition - especially in the area of recruiting.

Everything, if you believe high school coaching legend Rush Propst, who's now coaching one of the nation's best outside linebacker prospects in J.J. Peterson at Colquitt County (Ga.) High School. Over the ensuing days, Tennessee reportedly offered the position to a number of coaches, including: Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy, Purdue's Jeff Brohm, North Carolina State's Dan Doeren and Washington State's Mike Leach. He's a real good leader and the players like to play for him. Tennessee Chancellor Beverley Davenport gave Fulmer "full authority" to make the hire.

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