Sometimes in sports, it’s difficult to remember that coaches and players are humans first, athletes/coaches second.
We choose to focus on the highs and lows, the wins and losses, the good plays, and the bad plays and forget that these are real people with real lives and real problems.
On Wednesday, we received a stark reminder of this reality.
Tennessee Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt revealed that his grandfather isn’t doing very well. Pruitt then mentioned that he’d be skipping the national signing day show with Mike Keith on Wednesday evening so he could spend some time with his grandfather.
Jeremy Pruitt says he will not be doing his signing day show tonight with Mike Keith.
Pruitt’s grandfather is not doing well and he’s going to go home tonight to see him. Said it’s been an emotional day for him.
— Rocky Top Insider (@rockytopinsider) December 16, 2020
Kudos to Pruitt for keeping the main thing the main thing. Nothing is more important than family.
As soon as I saw this news about Pruitt’s grandfather, I immediately thought about an article I read when Tennessee first hired him to replace Butch Jones.
(Article, via Tuscaloosanews.com, is from when Pruitt was hired in an on-field role at Alabama in 2010.)
Being criticized is part of being a college football head coach. But at the same time, let’s remember that Pruitt’s identity goes far beyond simply being a coach.
And Pruitt, genuinely, is a good dude.
Featured image via Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports