If Jeremy Pruitt returns as the Tennessee Vols’ head coach in 2021, there will likely be significant staff shakeup.
Pruitt needs to hire a defensive line coach after firing Jimmy Brumbaugh earlier this season. He’d also be wise to consider replacing quarterbacks coach Chris Weinke, who has essentially been stealing money from Tennessee for the last three years.
There are other positions where Pruitt could consider making moves, too. Should Brian Niedermeyer be coaching inside linebackers? Do the Vols need a more experienced defensive coordinator? These are all areas where Pruitt could choose to make some changes.
But that’s just one side of the assistant coaching carousel.
What about the coaches who choose to leave Tennessee for better jobs?
There have already been rumblings that Vols wide receivers coach Tee Martin is a candidate to be the head coach at South Alabama.
Losing Martin would be a big blow for the Vols (he’s a great position coach/recruiter), but it would be a great move for the UT legend’s coaching career.
The good news is that if Martin leaves for South Alabama, the Vols have an opportunity to replace him with another former Vol.
Former UT running back Montario Hardesty.
Hardesty is currently the wide receivers coach at Charlotte. The former Vol was on Pruitt’s staff at Tennessee in 2018 as an offensive quality control coach. Hardesty also spent time with Lane Kiffin at Florida Atlantic in 2017.
If the Vols bring Hardesty on staff in 2021, it would give the program another coach (along with running backs coach Jay Graham) who can provide a valuable recruiting connection in North Carolina (Hardesty is from eastern North Carolina and has spent the last two years in Charlotte).
Fans would obviously hate to see Martin leave Rocky Top, but replacing him with Hardesty could make the move a little easier to handle.
Featured image via John Reed-USA TODAY Sports