KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — ESPN reports that Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt has been offered the Tennessee football coaching job.
Pruitt, 43, was one of three finalists for the job after Chad Morris and Brent Venables withdrew their names from consideration earlier this week.
Former Tennessee player and current Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele has been considered the favorite for the job since Phillip Fulmer was named AD last Friday and assumed control of the search.
Fulmer cast a wide net over the past week, and Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker also emerged as a finalist for the job.
All three of the finalists were interviewed twice, with Pruitt being the final interview.
Fulmer also did a phone interview with USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin, with Martin expressing an interest in the head coaching position.
Martin said he would also be interested in the offensive coordinator position with provisions he could call plays and have say with offensive recruits — responsibilities common among offensive coordinators.
If Pruitt does indeed become Tennessee’s next head coach, he would be allowed to pick his own coaching staff.
Many believed former Tennessee defensive coordinator and current Texas A&M defensive coordinator John Chavis would be a shoo-in for a position, having worked with Fulmer for 17 years and been his most trusted assistant.
There has been no indication to this point that Martin or Chavis will be part of the staff.
Former AD John Currie worked with Tennessee icon Peyton Manning and super booster Jimmy Haslam on the original search the first 2½ weeks, but Martin was not called until Fulmer took over last Friday.
Jeremy Pruitt coaching résumé:
|2001-03||Fort Payne HS||Asst.|
|* Director of player development|
|^ Student assistant coach|
Jeremy Pruitt national rankings as defensive coordinator:
|Year||Pts rank||PPG||Yds rank||YPG|
|* Defensive coordinator at Alabama|
|** Defensive coordinator at Georgia|
|^ Defensive coordinator at Florida State|