KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee athletic director Phillip Fulmer has been around the block a few times, so he knows the difference between a “want” and a “need.”
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) June 19, 2018
So far, all of football coach Jeremy Pruitt’s requests have been approved by Fulmer. That includes upgrading what was already a state-of-the-art weight room with $660,000 worth of improvements, according to a News Sentinel report.
Pruitt said during the Big Orange Caravan stop in Kingsport, Tenn., that student-athletes were the top priority for him when it came to financial requests.
Tennessee football Kingsport review
Some might point out that Pruitt has a high-priced staff, including five staff members with three-year guaranteed contracts.
But keeping those assistants is important for players, too. Fulmer is well aware of that.
Fulmer saw his coaching predecessor, Johnny Majors, struggle to get enough money to give his Tennessee staff competitive raises.
Further, Fulmer saw how former Vols coach Butch Jones was denied a larger salary pool by former AD Dave Hart.
That led to Jones being limited in his hiring options and his ability to retain some staff members.
Where the weight room is concerned, the Vols have already dished out a guaranteed three-year deal worth $625,000 annually to lure Craig Fitzgerald away from the NFL’s Houston Texans.
Fitzgerald is expected to produce immediate results for that kind of money, and the strength coach wanted a new floor and new weight room equipment.
Tennessee football is excited about the improvements, which should keep its weight room up to par with any in the nation. The school put out a promotional video of the players working out.
Fulmer, once regarded as the nation’s premier recruiter, is savvy enough to understand the need to promote the product with positive press and videos.
After all, if Tennessee has got it, the Vols might as well flaunt it for all recruits to see.