Jeremy Pruitt named new head football coach at UT - WSMV News 4

Jeremy Pruitt named new head football coach at UT

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Jeremy Pruitt was introduced at a press conference in Knoxville. (WSMV) Jeremy Pruitt was introduced at a press conference in Knoxville. (WSMV)
KNOXVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Jeremy Pruitt has officially been named the 26th head coach of the football program at the University of Tennessee.

Prior to this, Pruitt was serving as the defensive coordinator at Alabama.

WBIR, the NBC affiliate in Knoxville, reports that the deal between Pruitt and UT was reached on Wednesday night.

Chancellor Beverly Davenport and Director of Athletics Phillip Fulmer officially introduced Pruitt at a press conference Thursday evening.

"Six days ago, I mentioned several attributes that I sought to find in the next leader of our football program, and Coach Pruitt meets all criteria," Fulmer said. "I'm certain he appreciates the unique opportunity to lead a program of Tennessee's caliber. He's driven to win at the highest level. He will honor our university's values, operate with integrity and be a role model for our student-athletes. I know Coach Pruitt will hit the ground running and go to work restoring our program to a championship level."

Pruitt said he is humbled and honored to be the new head football coach at Tennessee, adding he’s ready to hit the ground running.

"There was a time where UT was feared in the SEC. My job is to get us back to that," Pruitt said.

Pruitt confirmed he would recruit for UT through the dead period then return as defensive coordinator for Alabama for the College Football Playoff.

The university had been struggling to find a candidate to fill the role after firing Butch Jones in November.

During the search process, the school fired athletic director John Currie and replaced him with former head coach Fulmer.

Pruitt joined Alabama's staff as defensive coordinator in 2015. Before that, he spent two seasons as the defensive coordinator/secondary coach at Georgia.

He also was the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach at Florida State in 2013, which is the same team that went undefeated and won the national championship.

From 2007 to 2012, Pruitt was on the coaching staff at Alabama. From 2010 to 2012, he helped coach defensive backs.

Before that, he was an assistant coach for two years at Hoover High School in Alabama.

Pruitt played football at both MTSU and Alabama when he was in college.

He began his collegiate career as a safety and cornerback at MTSU. He transferred to Alabama after his sophomore season.

During his time on Alabama's team, he helped the team win the 1996 SEC Western Division Championship.

In high school, he earned All-State honors in 1991 and 1992 for his time as a defensive back with the Plainview High School team.

Watch the full press conference below:

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