NCAA Football

Tennessee Head Coach Rumors: Alabama DC Jeremy Pruitt a ‘Strong Candidate’

December 6, 2017

Alabama Crimson Tide defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt is reportedly a “strong candidate” to replace Butch Jones as Tennessee Volunteers head coach.

Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports provided the latest update in the Vols’ long and winding coaching search Wednesday morning.

The University of Tennessee has cycled through several candidates to fill the vacant position since withdrawing an offer to Ohio State Buckeyes defensive coordinator Greg Schiano amid fan backlash.

Chris Low of ESPN reported fellow defensive coordinators Kevin Steele (Auburn) and Mel Tucker (Georgia) had second interviews with new UT athletic director Phillip Fulmer. Pruitt is expected to join that list Wednesday.

“The University of Tennessee is a fantastic institution,” Fulmer told reporters last week. “Our football program has the history, the facilities, tradition and the resources to play with anyone anytime. That’s what we’re going to do again. This is an important time in our history. It’s time that we all pull together to be a part of the solution. I am honored to have this opportunity.”

Pruitt, who played defensive back for the Tide in 1995 and 1996, returned to the program in 2007 as the director of player development. He started working with the defensive backs in 2010 before leaving to become the Florida State Seminoles’ defensive coordinator three years later.

The 43-year-old Alabama native spent one year in that role with the Noles before accepting the same position with the Georgia Bulldogs in 2014. He rejoined Nick Saban‘s staff in 2016, spending the last two seasons as the program’s defensive coordinator.

If Tennessee selects him, it would be his first time as a head coach.

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