I don’t see any way that Jeremy Pruitt is the head coach of the Tennessee Vols much longer.
And it’s not just because he’s having a nightmare season in year three of his tenure (though that’s certainly a major factor).
It’s because of a small Pruitt nugget tucked away in a column from longtime college football writer Steven Godfrey (a well connected Ole Miss grad that’s covered the sport for over a decade).
Godfrey, who works for Banner Society (Vox Media) recently wrote a column about college football head coach buyouts. In the column, he mentions how Pruitt stands to make more money next season if he’s fired by Tennessee (thanks to a $12 million buyout that’s paid in installments and the likelihood that he’d land a job as a well-paid defensive coordinator).
In the midst of Godfrey’s column, he throws out a note about Pruitt (via sources and people in the know) that should infuriate Vol fans.
See if you can spot it:
Here’s the funny part, and what makes this scenario different from almost every other coaching story I’m familiar with: Pruitt isn’t Nick Saban. He’s not his predecessor Butch Jones. He, it seems, lacks the megalomaniac fervor of a head coach, and (according to people) really would be happy just going back to being a plain-old “ball coach” defensive coordinator.
If you missed it, it’s the last sentence.
Godfrey has folks telling him that Pruitt would be happy just going back to being a defensive coordinator. When you combine this with the rumors that Pruitt has said he could just go back to Alabama if he’s fired by Tennessee (and the fact that the biggest criticism of Pruitt is that he’s a coordinator moonlighting as a head coach) it all adds up.
Pruitt thought he wanted to be a head coach. Then he became a head coach and found out he’s really just a coordinator.
At this point, I’d be surprised if he would even argue with Phil Fulmer to keep his job.
How are there any UT fans still supporting the idea of Pruitt retaining his job?
The Vols need to move on from Pruitt ASAP and find someone who actually wants to be the head coach at Tennessee.
Featured image via Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports