Vols go with the unknown by hiring Jeremy Pruitt

Jeremy Pruitt rose quickly from the high school ranks to the SEC

Tennessee has hired Jeremy Pruitt the program's next head football coach, the university confirmed Thursday.

Pruitt's teams put up impressive defensive numbers, often ranking in the top 10 in the country in points and yards per game.

Pruitt won three national championships (2009, 2011 and 2012) while at Alabama. And a school that managed to play football for 120 years before suffering its first eight-loss season deserved better from its administrators.

Pruitt has been the defensive coordinator with the Crimson Tide for the past two seasons.

The renowned recruiter and savvy defensive assistant was pegged by new athletics director Phillip Fulmer to lead Tennessee's turnaround, replacing Butch Jones, who was sacked on November 12.

The selection of Pruitt ends a coaching search that had become embarrassing for Tennessee as it dragged on. Alabama led the nation in scoring defense and ranked second in total defense previous year.

Tennessee has ended the most tortured football coaching search imaginable and hired Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, according to reports.

No college team Pruitt has coached for has had a losing record.

Prior to that he spent two seasons at Georgia following a one year stint as defensive coordinator at Florida State where he helped the Seminoles win the 2013 national championship.

From 2000 to 2006, Pruitt was a highly respected defensive coordinator throughout the state of Alabama at Plainview, Fort Payne and Hoover High School.

Anyway, here's what we think Pruitt's staff could look like at Tennessee. It would also help with the staff transition - especially in the area of recruiting. He played at Alabama from 2008-12 (which means Pruitt coached him).

What makes the 43-year-old Pruitt so special, despite never previously having been a head coach at any level?

Once word leaked that Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano had been tabbed for the job, an outcry from alumni, fans, former players and politicians ultimately squashed the deal. Pruitt was a 2013 finalist for the Broyles Award.

Tennessee's coaching search then ranged from Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy, Duke's David Cutcliffe, Purdue's Jeff Brohm, North Carolina State's Dave Doeren and Washington State's Mike Leach until athletic director John Currie was sacked last week.

Related News: