KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee introduced its new coach Jeremy Pruitt Thursday night.
The 43-year-old coach brings a strong defensive background with him to the Vols. He has learned under Alabama coach Nick Saban.
Athletic Director Phillip Fulmer and Pruitt both took questions Thursday.
Here is a roundup of news and notes from the news conference.
Opening statement from Fulmer: I’ve spent five exciting days interviewing great men. Coach Pruitt’s reputation precedes him.
His athletes are all fantastic. He is a teacher and changes people’s lives. He is a great fit for our family. His energy and
personality was infectious.
Opening statement from Pruitt: I am honored and humbled to be recognized as the head coach at Tennessee. There was a time
and place this university was feared amongst the SEC. My goal is to get us back. It’s very rare for a first time coach to
have a boss who has done great things where I want to do it. What kind of football team do we want to have here? Big, fast,
aggressive and dominating. How do we get there? It starts with recruiting. It began today. To me, what’s everyone else’s role?
It starts with positivity. We all have to be positive and pulled in one direction. If we do that, we are going to get what
we want. We have to own our role. First thing we’ll do, put together a staff. I’m looking for good people, no subsitute for
good people. Second, I’m looking for teachers. The staff needs to have guys who have leadership ability. Recruiting, it’s
the lifeblood of any organization. We are going to start with this state. We are going to go out and create relationships.
We are going to start as soon as this meeting is finished. To me, it is all about the student athletes. I want a guy who want
a degree. That is important to me. We want guys who what to develop and be the best players they can be. Expectations. Everyone
in this room is excited. No one’s expectation is higher than mine. I expect to every game we play. With recruiting we are
going to mix it up with the best players who fit this school across the country. What kind of offense? We have to create balance.
We have to run the ball when we want to. It starts with dominating the offensive line. We want to create big passing plays,
that starts with running the football. Defensively, we want an aggressive style of defense that dictates what the other team
does. We are going to challenge them at the line. I to