KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer said he’d open the vault and give coach Jeremy Pruitt whatever he needed to win, and apparently that includes a renovated weight room.
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) April 24, 2018
Tennessee put out a video on Tuesday featuring strength and conditioning coach Craig Fitzgerald highlighting the changes to the 22,000 square foot, 6-year-old facility.
“We’re going to do the best facility that’s ever been,” said Fitzgerald, who Tennessee lured away from the NFL’s Houston Texans with a 3-year contract worth $625,000 a year — making him the second-highest paid strength and conditioning coach in the nation.
“We’re taking the old floor out, putting a new floor in that will be the best in the world.”
Pruitt said Sunday on WNML’s “The Nation” radio show that he has been pleased with Fitzgerald, which is a good thing due to the guaranteed nature of his contract.
“I think Craig is a hard worker, I think he’s done a great job with every program he’s been at, he’s got lots of energy, he’s got great ideas, he’s a hard worker, and he has a high standard of what he wants to get done in the weight room,” Pruitt said. “I think our guys have grown this offseason and will continue to grow.”
The defensive line will need to continue to grow more before the Sept. 1 opener against West Virginia after getting pushed around by the Vols’ makeshift offensive line in a 34-7 Orange and White Game defeat last Saturday.
Fitzgerald, who also worked for Steve Spurrier at South Carolina for three seasons and then Penn State, said Tennessee is taking the mirrors out of the weight room.
“We don’t need our guys looking at themselves, we need them training,” Fitzgerald said.
“You’re gonna know when you walk in this is where football players train. This is where the best players in the country train as they get ready for their NFL careers and become dominant players in the best conference in America, the Southeastern Conference.”
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