Former Tennessee HC Jeremy Pruitt with Alabama HC Nick Saban. Photo via Tennessee Athletics.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban has the tough task of replacing both of his coordinators this offseason.
The Crimson Tide most recently lost offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien after the 53-year-old took the same position with the New England Patriots in late January.
Prior to that, though, Alabama had already lost their defensive coordinator, Pete Golding, for the same position on Lane Kiffin’s Ole Miss Staff.
According to ESPN, “Golding’s decision to leave Alabama was his own and that he was not pushed out, but rather he felt this move was best for him and his family.”
With Saban and the Alabama program looking for a new defensive play caller, one familiar name – for both Alabama and Tennessee – is popping up.
According to a new report from CBS Sports’s Dennis Dodd and sources on Monday night, “Alabama coach Nick Saban has reached out to former Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt regarding the Crimson Tide’s vacant defensive coordinator position.”
The report from Dodd states that it is “believed” that an offer has not been made at this time as the Tide continue to figure out which direction they want to go in.
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There’s a lot that even goes into the conversation of hiring Pruitt, though.
The SEC’s rules state that any coach possessing Level I, II, or III violations attached to their name must go through a consultation process directly with the commissioner’s office prior to the hiring of that individual.
In July of 2022, Tennessee and former coach Jeremy Pruitt were hit with 18 Level I violations from their time together, which is the most serious violation that the NCAA gives out.
In layman’s terms, Pruitt and Saban would have to meet with SEC commissioner Greg Sankey if this does continue in this direction.
After three years and a 16-19 overall coaching record at Tennessee, Jeremy Pruitt and nine other coaches and staff members were fired from the University of Tennessee on Jan. 18, 2021.
Just a few months later, on Mar. 10, 2021, Pruitt was then hired to be a senior defensive analyst for the New York Giants. Pruitt was not retained on the staff following that season and has not been in the collegiate or professional coaching game since.
According to CBS Sports’s Dennis Dodd, “sources indicate Pruitt would face long odds to getting hired by the Tide as the subject of an ongoing NCAA investigation.”
Still, though, it is not unsurprising that Pruitt and Saban are discussing this position once again. The former Tennessee head coach is a former Alabama player and has coached on the Tide’s staff three different times.
Pruitt began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Alabama during the 1997 season. While he would move to the high school circuit after that initial season, the Rainsville, Alabama native would return to the Tide from 2007 to 2009 as the director of player development. Pruitt then became the Tide’s defensive backs coach from 2010 to 2012 before moving to Florida State as the defensive coordinator in 2013.
After brief stints at Florida State and Georgia, Pruitt returned to Alabama from 2016 to 2017 to be Saban’s defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach. That lasted two seasons until he was hired to be Tennessee’s head coach from 2018 to 2020.
Jeremy Pruitt is a five-time national championship winner, possessing four titles with Alabama (2009, 2011, 2012, 2017) and one with Florida State (2013).