New Head Coach: Jeremy Pruitt
Former Head Coach: Butch Jones
Since Butch Jones was fired, the search for a new head coach has been an absolute mess. It appeared as if AD John Currie was poised to hire Ohio State DC Greg Schiano…until the city of Knoxville (metaphorically) rioted. The backlash from the public was so strong, that the hiring was abandoned. From there, the program reached out to a number of coaches (Leach, Chip Kelly, Mike Gundy). It soon became clear that Currie — who had been on the job for less than a year — simply wasn’t going to cut it.
The fan outcry led to his dismissal. Beloved head coach Phil Fulmer has since inherited the post. As of Thursday morning, it appears as if Alabama DC Jeremy Pruitt will be named as the next head coach of the program. The 43-year-old Alabama native has never been a head coach on any level before. With that said, he’s cut his teeth with some of the most well respected programs in the country (Alabama, Georgia, Florida State).
Known as a fierce recruiter and a spectacular defensive mind, it will be fascinating to see how Pruitt transitions to the managerial position. Two years ago, Georgia poached Alabama’s defensive coordinator (Kirby Smart). Fast-forward to today, and the Bulldogs are in the College Football Playoff. UT would love to see this scenario repeated with Pruitt in charge. Though the university brutally bungled the entire process, hiring Pruitt salvages a bit of the prior headache.
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