Kirby Smart, Jeremy Pruitt comment on Pruitt's unusual double-duty work

Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy stands on the sideline during the second half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Alabama Saturday Dec. 30 2017 in Tuscaloosa Ala

So once he landed in Knoxville on December 7, 2017, to be introduced as this storied program's 26th head coach, Pruitt didn't find time for a nap until after he had welcomed in Tennessee's first group of official visitors and continued his work inside the Anderson Training Center well into Saturday morning.

Pruitt has also assembled most of his staff; it includes Georgia outside linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer and Florida's Chris Rumph as Tennessee's new defensive coordinator tandem; USC's Tyson Helton as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach; Colorado State's Will Friend as offensive line coach; VFL Terry Fair as defensive backs coach; and Tracy Rocker as defensive line coach. "These guys have done an excellent job while I've been away, along with (Director of Athletics) Phillip Fulmer". Pruitt served as the defensive coordinator at Florida State under Fisher in 2013 before working in the same role under Richt at Georgia in 2014 and 2015.

Said Pruitt: "I got to watch Kirby do it two years ago". "Especially the fact that he's been here before".

Added another UT coach, "The first 40, 42 hours there, we didn't sleep at all the night after the press conference".

Pruitt met with the team Tuesday night. I did not have to deal with a signing day. The Vols shot up rankings after the early signing period - from 54th in the nation to 16th.

Tennessee coach Rick Barnes talks with his team during a timeout against Arkansas during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday Dec. 30 2017 in Fayetteville Ark
Kirby Smart, Jeremy Pruitt comment on Pruitt's unusual double-duty work

"We'll either be happy in Knoxville, or Kirby will be happy in Athens", Pruitt said. "Out of those 14 guys, we have now seven that are here, and we still have one that's waiting on a bit of paperwork to get here. We also need to start on the 2019 class and the 2020 class".

Pruitt replaced Butch Jones at Tennessee on December 7 after an embarrassing and prolonged coaching search for the Volunteers, but he remained at Alabama to help through the national championship.

"What was interesting, (recently) we're in a (Tide) staff meeting and they're starting to set up calls for (Nick) Saban", Pruitt said.

So, Pruitt earned his championship ring, but now he's off to Tennessee. "Everybody was all smiles, they always are the first meeting. We've got to get (big-time) guys".



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