That would be his only season at Florida State as he was hired by Richt the following offseason. Pruitt left the program for Alabama before the Bulldogs' TaxSlayer Bowl game against Penn State. During that time, the Crimson Tide appeared in the College Football Playoff both years, losing to Clemson in the national championship game in 2016. If Alabama wins, it will move on to the College Football Playoff National Championship Game on January 8. After three years in that role, Pruitt became Alabama's defensive backs coach, reporting directly under Smart. Alabama led the nation in scoring defense and ranked second in total defense past year. The Crimson Tide has suffered significant losses to several key defenders including four to the linebacking unit alone.
Pruitt returned to the SEC in 2014 to be the Georgia defensive coordinator for two seasons before landing back in Alabama in 2016 and winning another championship. Pruitt is now the fifth-highest paid assistant in the country, making $1.3 million a year. Lupoi is now making $950,000 per year, more than most defensive coordinators.
Possible Tennessee recruits have already begun coming out in support of joining Pruitt's team.
Pruitt was a high school coach for a decade before returning to his alma mater in 2007 to work under Nick Saban, where he was the director of player development until 2012.
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This will be Pruitt's first head coaching opportunity after a long career as an assistant. Will it be better than Butch Jones at the beginning? Once word leaked that Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano had been tabbed for the job, an outcry from alumni, fans, former players and politicians ultimately squashed the deal.
Tennessee saw a coach almost get hired, then decided against it after fans protested the decision. Then Tennessee went after Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm, but it's unclear if there was any truth to that, so the next coach in line was N.C. State's Dave Doeren who also turned down the job.
Pruitt's hiring comes six days after former Tennessee football coach Phillip Fulmer was named athletic director and put in charge of the coaching search.
According to Volquest.com, Fulmer had second interviews with Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele, Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker and Pruitt, who was eventually dubbed as the next head football coach.