KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The University of Tennessee has reportedly fired football head coach Jeremy Pruitt.
According to CBS Sports, Pruitt was fired for cause amid an investigation regarding alleged recruiting violations. Both the university and NCAA are investigating the claims.
Tennessee will not have to pay Pruitt’s buyout because he was let go with cause.
Pruitt was 16-19 over three seasons with the football team.
The future of Director of Athletics Phillip Fulmer is uncertain at this time.
Pruitt was hired in December of 2017 to become the head coach for the Vols. This after UT fired Butch Jones, and also replaced Athletic Director John Currie with national championship-winning coach Fulmer. Pruitt was the Defensive Coordinator at the University of Alabama before taking the UT job.
Pruitt was the 26th head coach in Tennessee football history. Pruitt took over for the Vols after collecting five national championships as an assistant and was considered one of the nation’s top defensive coordinators due to his successes at Alabama (2016-17, 2007-12), Georgia (2014-15), and Florida State (2013).
In his first season with the Vols, Pruitt led them to a 5-7 record (2-6 in SEC-play) and did not make a bowl game. However, the Vols did have two significant wins over No. 11 Kentucky and No. 21 Auburn.
In his second season, the Vols started the year 1-4, and looked like they were trending downward. But, Pruitt and the Vols ended the year 8-5 and third in the SEC East after a 5-3 conference record. The Vols also won the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl in dramatic fashion, beating the Indiana Hoosiers 23-22.
In Pruitt’s third and final season, during a year with COVID-19 restrictions and issues, he led the Vols to a 3-7 record (all games were against SEC opponents due to COVID-19 changing the schedule). The Vols did accept a bid to face off against West Virginia in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, but had to pull out due to multiple players and coaches testing positive for COVID-19.
In September of 2020, University of Tennessee Director of Athletics Phillip Fulmer announced that head football coach Jeremy Pruitt has agreed to a contract extension through the 2025 season. The extension terms include compensation of $3.8 million in 2020, with an increase to $4.2 million starting in 2021.