Tennessee hires Jeremy Pruitt as next head coach

Tennessee hires Jeremy Pruitt as next head coach

University of Tennessee's Chancellor Beverly Davenport and Director of Athletics Phil Fulmer will hold a press conference Thursday at 6:05 p.m. ET in the Peyton Manning Locker Room to introduce Jeremy Pruitt as Tennessee's next head football coach. This will be Pruitt's first head coaching job as he looks to replace Butch Jones who was sacked on November 12 after going 34-27 over five seasons.

The Vols' search became major news after the job was given to (and then rescinded from) Greg Schiano. He won a fourth title at Florida State in 2013. Alabama will meet Clemson in the Sugar Bowl in one national semifinal game on January 1.

Athletic director Phil Fulmer interviewed two other SEC defensive coordinators - Auburn's Kevin Steele and Georgia's Mel Tucker - but, per Low, told both he planned to go in another direction. He also had a previous stint at Alabama where he served as the Crimson Tide's secondary coach from 2010-12.

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Pruitt can net $300,000 for winning the SEC Championship game and an additional $500,000 if he leads the Volunteers to a national championship. The Crimson Tide has suffered significant losses to several key defenders including four to the linebacking unit alone.

The 43-year-old Pruitt has twice been a finalist for the Broyles Award, given annually to Division I-FBS' top assistant coach, and has spent many years under Nick Saban at Alabama. He joins Georgia's Kirby Smart, South Carolina's Will Muschamp and newly-hired Jimbo Fisher at Texas A&M.

Alabama topped the nation in run defense last season and ranks third in that category this year. Lupoi is now making $950,000 per year, more than most defensive coordinators. Propst called Pruitt an excellent recruiter and even better coach at in-game adjustments.

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