KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Rocky Top will be home sweet home to Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt for a while longer after agreeing to multi-year contract extension, the school announced Thursday.
University of Tennessee Director of Athletics Phillip Fulmer announced Thursday that head football coach Jeremy Pruitt has agreed to a contract extension through the 2025 season. The extension terms include compensation of $3.8 million in 2020, with an increase to $4.2 million starting in 2021.
Tennessee’s six-game winning streak is the fourth-longest active win streak in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision. He’s led the Vols to a 13-12 record in two seasons and has a record of 109-25 as an assistant coach and head coach.
“I’m excited that this extension gives Jeremy the runway to continue to build on the momentum and energy we have around our football program coming out of last season,” Fulmer said. “He has made excellent progress entering just his third year and clearly realizes there is much work still to be done. This extension secures him to continue his efforts to return our program to a championship level and shows our commitment to him, his staff, this team and the future of the Tennessee Volunteers. I am very grateful to Chancellor Plowman, our administration and Board of Trustees for their confidence and support as well as their leadership and attentiveness to the future of our overall athletics program.
“Jeremy and I were close to finalizing his extension early this year. But once the pandemic hit and we learned more and more about its potential impact on the department, Jeremy informed me that he preferred not to accept a raise for this year. His focus quickly shifted to his players and supporting them through a period of interruption and uncertainty. His selflessness and concern for the greater good has been neat to observe through all of this.”
Introduced as the 26th head coach in Tennessee football history on Dec. 7, 2017, Pruitt took the helm of the Vols after collecting five national championships as an assistant and cementing himself as the nation’s top defensive coordinator during stints at Alabama (2016-17, 2007-12), Georgia (2014-15) and Florida State (2013).
“My family and I are grateful for the unwavering commitment the University of Tennessee has made to us,” Pruitt said. “We have worked hard to build our program the right way in a short amount of time, and there is still much work to be done. It’s a privilege to coach and mentor the outstanding young men who represent the Tennessee Volunteers. We are excited about the future and will continue to build a program Tennessee fans can be proud of.”
Pruitt has already demonstrated his abilities as a recruiter during his brief tenure with a Tennessee. Tennessee signed a top-10 recruiting class in the spring of 2020 and are anticipated to have another highly-ranked class for 2021.
Tennessee finished 2019 with six consecutive wins after starting the season 1-4. The Vols capped the season with a comeback to defeat Indiana, 23-22, in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl, becoming the only team in the country to overcome a 13-point deficit in the final five minutes during the 2019 season.
Tennessee will begin the 2020 season on Saturday, September 26 when the Vols travel to Columbia to face 16th-ranked South Carolina. The game will be broadcast live on SEC and the Vol Network.
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