Pruitt prepares for upcoming UT football season

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - University of Tennessee head football coach Jeremy Pruitt addressed the media for the first time Wednesday since he was introduced as the Vols head coach in December. 

He recently helped the Alabama Crimson Tide win the national title as defensive coordinator. 

“I’m excited to finally be in Knoxville and getting started,” Pruitt said.

UT athletic director Phillip Fulmer told fans in December, "I know Coach Pruitt will hit the ground running and go to work restoring our program to a championship level."

Pruitt said out of the 14 players Tennessee signed in the early signing period, seven are already on campus. 

Pruitt met with the team Tuesday night.

“Last night we had an opportunity to meet with the team for the first time, kind of setting the groundwork for our expectations for the coming semester and offseason program,” Pruitt said. “Everybody was all smiles, they always are the first meeting. But we’re excited to get started.”

In regards to Jauan Jennings, Pruitt has reached out to him to set up a meeting.

Pruitt said there are certain traits that he hopes for in his staff members. "I want good people that will make this somewhere everyone can feel comfortable coming too."

He said his expectation is to win every game the team plays and believes the players will take on the personality of the head coach.

Pruitt also announced his assistant coaching staff on Wednesday:

  • Tyson Helton, USC, Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach
  • Will Friend, Colorado State, Offensive Line Coach
  • Robert Gillespie, Tennessee, Running Backs Coach
  • Brian Niedermeyer, Alabama, TBA
  • Kevin Sherrer, Georgia, Defensive Coordinator and Inside Linebackers Coach
  • Chris Rumph, Florida, Outside Linebackers Coach
  • Tracy Rocker, Georgia, Defensive Line Coach
  • Charles Kelly, Florida State, Special Teams and Safeties Coach
  • Terry Fair, Colorado State, Cornerbacks Coach
  • Craig Fitzgerald, Houston Texans, Strength and Conditioning Coach

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