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TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 10: Jeremy Pruitt, defensive coordinator of the Alabama Crimson Tide, looks on from the sidelines against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 10, 2016 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Tennessee Football Hire Alabama’s Jeremy Pruitt As Head Coach

The Tennessee Volunteers football team has just finalized a deal to hire Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt as head coach.

Tennessee Football head coach news

Pruitt, 43, is in his second season as the Crimson Tide’s defensive coordinator under Nick Saban. Alabama are ranked first nationally in scoring defense this season and second nationally in total defense. As an assistant coach, Pruitt has been a part of four national championship teams.

Phillip Fulmer, Tennessee’s former College Football Hall of Fame coach, replaced John Currie on Friday as the Vols’ athletic director.

Pruitt, a two-time Broyles Award finalist as the top assistant coach in college football, is also known as one of the top recruiters in the SEC. A former defensive back at Alabama, he had two different coaching stints in Tuscaloosa. He first worked there from 2007 to 2012, and then returned in 2016. In between, Pruitt was the defensive coordinator at Florida State on the Seminoles’ 2013 national championship team, and then served as Georgia’s defensive coordinator under Mark Richt for the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

Washington Redskins linebacker Ryan Anderson, who was recruited to Alabama by Pruitt, said one of Pruitt’s qualities is the way he connects with his players.

“He can relate to anybody, and you see that with the way guys have bought into new roles, and guys have been able to move around and play different spots,” Anderson said last year. “But the big thing he does is that he lets his dogs go hunt. There ain’t no holding back.”

Alabama linebacker Mack Wilson also praised Pruitt on Twitter Thursday morning, calling him “the best coach I’ve ever played for.”

Pruitt would become the fifth different Volunteers head coach in the past 11 years. He would replace Butch Jones, who was fired after going 34-27 overall and 14-24 in SEC play in five seasons in Knoxville.

Tennessee finished the season 4-8 and winless in eight SEC games to finish last (seventh) in the conference. They lost their final three games to Missouri, LSU and Vanderbilt.

TUSCALOOSA, AL – SEPTEMBER 10: Jeremy Pruitt, defensive coordinator of the Alabama Crimson Tide, looks on from the sidelines against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 10, 2016 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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Written by Pablo Mena