When defensive line coach Tracy Rocker left the Tennessee Vols for a spot on Will Muschamp’s staff at South Carolina, UT head coach Jeremy Pruitt moved quickly to hire a replacement.
In fact, if it seemed like Pruitt just picked up the phone and offered the job to someone when Rocker left, it’s because that’s exactly what happened.
Pruitt was already familiar with Jimmy Brumbaugh, the former Colorado coach who replaced Rocker. So when Rocker left, Pruitt offered him the job without even interviewing him.
“When we had the job come open, we didn’t interview anybody else”, said Pruitt after Tennessee’s first spring practice. “We didn’t interview him (Brumbaugh). We just offered him the job and he came.”
It’s not often that you hear a coach get candid about the hiring process. The college football world tends to be secretive, with more speculation and rumor circulating than actual facts.
But Pruitt is confident enough in his abilities as a head coach that he doesn’t mind mentioning that there was no bogus “search” for a new defensive line coach. He knew who he wanted and that’s who he hired.
Of course, there’s a reason Pruitt hired Brumbaugh. And he outlined those reasons on Tuesday.
Jimmy is a guy that I’ve known for a long time. When he was playing at Auburn, we played against each other, and he’s a guy that has really grown in the profession with the work that he’s done at every stop along the way. He’s a great teacher and motivator. You kind of know what you’re getting in him every single day. You can see it out here when I’ve sat in meetings with him with how he teaches. I think he’s really hands-on and he brings a lot of knowledge at that position having played that position. He really is the style of defensive line coach that we’re looking for.
Pruitt’s been pretty spot on when it comes to hiring assistant coaches so far. He basically let Rocker, who had an expiring contract, walk away from Tennessee to join a rival’s staff.
That means he obviously views Brumbaugh as an upgrade. At this point, I think Pruitt’s earned the benefit of the doubt when it comes to staff changes.
Featured image via Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports