Jeremy Pruitt Out at Tennessee [UPDATE]

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Jeremy Pruitt is out at Tennessee and athletic director Phil Fulmer’s future “will also be addressed”, according to Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports:

Pruitt, who had a 16-19 record in three season with the Vols, is out amidst an investigation into potential recruiting violations.

Last week, even as assistant coaching hires had been on pause due to the investigation, Tennessee hired former Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele as a defensive assistant. It will be interesting to see if Tennessee opts to make Steele an interim head coach or if they look outside the program at this juncture in the coaching cycle for the next person to lead their football program.

We have a lot of Tennessee fans who read OutKick: What would you like to see the program do?

Update: Blake Toppmeyer of the Knoxville News-Sentinel reports that Pruitt was fired “for cause” due to alleged NCAA violations, meaning Tennessee would save millions of dollars in a buyout. Further, Toppmeyer reports that Phil Fulmer is retiring and the new AD will choose the next football coach. “Fulmer made the decision to step down, and his departure is not tied to the investigation,” Toppmeyer writes.

Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.


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    • You can have Herman all day long if you want a shook loser. In 2018, WVU beat Texas 43-42 by going for two at the end of the game. Dana Holgersen (who I don’t like for other reasons but that is a conversation for another day) told his team “you want to go for 2, let’s go win the fucking game”. Meanwhile on the Texas sideline they showed Herman’s face and he looked literally scared and his hands were visibly shaking. That’s all I needed to know about ole Tom Herman and what kind of a man/coach he is. Although, I guess consistently going 7-5 or 8-4 would be a step up for Tennessee so maybe you are right.

      • Good intel. I just saw his general performance, ability to recruit, and availability. Obviously that doesn’t necessarily equal good. At this point in Ut football history I’ll take 8-4 or 9-3. Baby steps. There’s no reason UT shouldn’t be where programs like UGA or Auburn are now(which is where we were historically). You wouldn’t think it now, but UT is ahead of UGA, Auburn, Florida, and LSU in historical wins and win percentage. The last 10-12 years went gone off the rails starting with Mike Hamilton’s handling of Fulmer. Lesson: One dumb move can destroy a program.

  1. I’d be shocked if Tennessee is guilty of anything 1/10th as bad as whatever Auburn and Alabama do daily. This is why I can’t take college football seriously.

  2. Yea because Saban has a rampant history of recruiting violations… Point to bringing in more players than the amount of scholarships, or anything else you want. However Saban has not even been rumored to violate any recruiting rules in his entire coaching career. Maybe, just maybe, the best athletes want a legit shot at a national championship and the NFL, which Saban’s staff provides year in and year out. Every other college coach would love to bring down the Tide and make their own jobs easier. If there were some sort of cheating it would have at least made the rumor mills by now.

  3. Surely they are going to get Hugh Freeze?? That or Steele will step into the job. Fulmer has to be gone as well and not involved in the future decisions. If it is true that Payton is going to play a big role in the hiring process that is a good move – he was more responsible for the success in the 90’s than Fulmer ever was. I wonder if Pruitt is still liking his QB decision; what a frustrating joke.

    • Hearing via Basilio that Lane Kiffin has already reached out directly to a key group of Vol boosters. He’s in play.

      Sadly, I’m not sure our admin will have the stomach to look at Freeze with a bunch of level 1 & 2 violations under Pruitt.

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