Tennessee to reportedly move on from head coach Jeremy Pruitt
After just three seasons in charge in Knoxville, Tenn., the Volunteers are firing head coach Jeremy Pruitt. Yahoo’s Pete Thamel was the first to report the news.
Sources: Tennessee will be parting ways with coach Jeremy Pruitt today. AD Phil Fulmer's future will also be addressed.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) January 18, 2021
According to a report from the Knoxville News Sentinel’s Blake Toppenmeyer, Pruitt has been fired with cause, meaning Tennessee will not have to pay his buyout.
Toppenmeyer also reports that Phillip Fulmer will retire as the school’s athletic director. He took over in December of 2017 and was the one who hired Pruitt.
Tennessee had recently launched an internal investigation into the football program with regards to recruiting practices. In a report by ESPN’s Mark Schlabach, Georgia signee Amarius Mims was one of the players in question by the school.
Pruitt went 16-19 in his three seasons as the head coach. His 2020 campaign though saw the Volunteers finish with a disastrous 3-7 record. All seven of Tennessee’s losses were by double digits, including a 44-21 loss to Georgia.
Prior to becoming Tennessee’s head coach, Pruitt had served as the defensive coordinator at Alabama. Pruitt also worked as Georgia’s defensive coordinator during the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
Tennessee now becomes the fourth team that Georgia plays on an annual basis that will have a new head coach in 2021. South Carolina fired Will Muschamp and replaced him with Shane Beamer. Clark Lea took over for Derek Mason at Vanderbilt and Bryan Harsin is the new head coach at Auburn, taking the place of Gus Malzahn.
Pruitt is the latest coach to not last long at Tennessee, as only Butch Jones has lasted longer than four seasons since Tennessee parted ways with Fulmer as the head coach in 2009. Since then, the Volunteers have had Lane Kiffin, Derek Dooley and Jones serve as head coaches.
Tennessee had recently hired Kevin Steele as a defensive assistant. He was Auburn’s defensive coordinator and served as the interim head coach for the bowl game against Northwestern. Steele is also a former Tennessee player.
Georgia does currently have a staff opening, with defensive backs Charlton Warren taking the defensive coordinator position at Indiana.
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