UT finalizing deal with Jeremy Pruitt to be new head coach

Rachel Hardy
December 8, 2017

A year later as the defensive coordinator it was Pruitt who successfully figured out how to stop then-Nease (Fla.) quarterback Tim Tebow. That would be his only season at Florida State as he was hired by Richt the following offseason.

Sources say the only question that remains is whether he will coach in Alabama's semifinal game against Clemson.

Pruitt has been Alabama's defensive coordinator the last two years after spending two seasons in the same role at Georgia. He will continue to coach Alabama through the College Football Playoff. This year, Alabama leads the nation in scoring defense and yards per play. His loss would be significant to the Tide.

Pruitt, an Alabama native, has been on Nick Saban's staff at Alabama the past two seasons, directing one of the best defenses in the country. He joins Georgia's Kirby Smart, South Carolina's Will Muschamp and newly-hired Jimbo Fisher at Texas A&M. Lupoi is now making $950,000 per year, more than most defensive coordinators.

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).

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Lupoi, 35, started his coaching career at California, his alma mater, where he became the youngest full-time coach in Cal history at the age of 26 in 2008.

Tennessee had thrown around multiple names for their head coaching job, including ESPN color analyst Jon Gruden and Washington State head coach Mike Leach. Sherrer served as the defensive coordinator at South Alabama in 2013 before moving to Georgia in 2014. Pruitt spent time as the director of player development from 2007-2009. And now it appears that Pruitt is pursuing another Colorado State coach, and this coach is also a former Vol player and 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.

Tennessee was close to hiring Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano on November 26 before that deal fell through amid a public backlash.

Tennessee saw a coach almost get hired, then decided against it after fans protested the decision.

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.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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