Even in the midst of a pandemic, when sports are essentially shut down, the Tennessee Vols still find a way to not be boring.

Last week, strength and conditioning coach Craig Fitzgerald left Tennessee to take the same position with the New York Giants.

It was a surprising move, considering Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt had just commented days before that Fitzgerald chose to pass up other openings (likely Alabama) to stay at UT.

Fitzgerald spoke with The Athletic’s David Ubben shortly after leaving Tennessee.

The former Vol strength coach was tight-lipped on most topics, but he at least gave his thoughts on who would be a good option to become the new strength coach at UT.

Fitzgerald, who was quick to point out that he has no say in who replaces him, suggested, when probed by Ubben, that current director of sports performance AJ Artis would be a good option.

Tennessee Vols

“I think A.J. is an excellent strength coach. I think that would be a great choice. But that’s not my choice”, said Fitzgerald to The Athletic.

Artis is a former Campbell football player who previously worked as a grad assistant at Appalachian State and an assistant sports performance coach at Duke.

Given the current climate of college football, promoting from within is probably the best move Pruitt could make. Once the coronavirus loosens its grip on the sports world, things in the weight room will likely get rolling pretty quick. Because of the extended time off during spring (and possibly into summer), the Vols wouldn’t have adequate time to introduce a new strength coach (and his philosophies) to the players.

It’s not ideal, but nothing is ideal right now.

Featured image via USA Today/Twitter


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