Tennessee Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt didn’t explicitly say it on Tuesday, but he hinted at a big victory over Alabama head coach Nick Saban this offseason.
Last month, Alabama strength coach Scott Cochran left Tuscaloosa for an on-the-field coaching role with Georgia.
On Tuesday, after Tennessee’s first spring practice, Pruitt hinted that Alabama called Vols strength coach Craig Fitzgerald, who rebuffed any offers this offseason so he could stay in Knoxville.
Jeremy Pruitt (not so subtly) hints that Tennessee S&C coordinator Craig Fitzgerald turned down an offer from Alabama after Scott Cochran took a job at Georgia.
“I can’t say enough about Craig. … Craig was the first guy they called and he decided to stay here.”
— Jesse Simonton (@JesseReSimonton) March 10, 2020
This is a major sign that the tide is shifting in the SEC. Alabama is still a superpower in the conference, but the gap isn’t quite as wide as it used to be.
It’s obvious that Pruitt, along with other coaches like Georgia’s Kirby Smart, are building programs with solid foundations that coaches want to be a part of.
Keeping Fitzgerald is a major win for the Vols. Continuity in the strength program is one of the most important aspects of a successful football program.
Featured image via Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports