Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt’s introductory press conference live stream

Tennessee will be holding a press conference to officially welcome new head coach Jeremy Pruitt this evening at 6:05. The video stream is embedded below so we GRTers can watch it and talk about it right here. I’ll be doing my best to paraphrase on the fly in the comment section below for anyone who’s not able to watch the video.

Brad will be along shortly after the press conference concludes with his recap and thoughts, and then he, Will, and I will be recording a live-streamed podcast starting at 8:30.

So, watch for all of that here tonight. It’s been a good day on Rocky Top, and even better days are ahead.



  1. I’m encouraged without even hearing from him. It sounds like he already had a plan in place given how fast he started putting together a staff.

  2. Hmmm Bev is really taking this on herself. I’m surprised she’s even up there today. Kinda dangerous. If Pruitt doesn’t work out, she may be viewed as sharing in the blame.

  3. Davenport’s opening statements:

    Only been a week since introducing Fulmer as AD. He’s the most dedicated Vol I’ve ever met. Vicki says it’s a calling, and I’ve seen that this week. Thanks to all the family for giving him back to us.

    Today, he’s brought us a new coach. I couldn’t be happier to be delivering the news. Fulmer has been full in. Worked tirelessly. I’m confident that Jeremy Pruitt is That Person for This PRogram at This time.

    Thanks to Pruitt for choosing Tennessee, taking this on. Welcome to the family. Really excited you’re going to be part of this family. I promise you’re going to love it. You’ll see how passionate our fans are, how warm and welcoming they are. Everyone’s looking at us, and we’re all ready to welcome you.

    That color is Pantone 151, yes, I’m probably wearing 152.

    I met Jeremy, nad he told me he started his career when young. He told me he wanted to win championships. I told him, make no bones about it, Tennessee expects you to.

    I told Fulmer to find us the best person, he’s done his job.

    Turning over to Fulmer.

  4. Fulmer’s comments:

    It’s been great to work with Davenport this week. I’d gotten to know her a bit before this, but having the oppotunity to work with her closely, I learned that she’s all in. She asked tought question to make sure we got he right person. She cares about UT, and I saw it firsthand these past few days.

    I’ve spent 5 days interviewing, coordinators from both O and D backgrounds. My charge to all stakeholders was to go find the best coach to get our proud football program back to the championship level. First want to thank Casey, and their kids.

    Pruitt’s rep precedes him, talents, recruiting abilities, his athletes are fantastic. He’s a teacher, and he changes lives. He has integrity, and he’s a great fit. He’s been part of 4 NCs at 2 different schools, and coaches some of the best and brightest. He’s learned his skill well from the best.

    His personality is infectious. As you get to know hyim, you’ll agree.

  5. “Anything you expect I expect better. I expect everything better than you. A’ight?”- Jeremy Pruitt

  6. Pruitt’s remarks:

    That phone theat went off was my dad’s.

    I’m honored and humbled to be the coach at Tennessee. Tradition. Grew up N. AL just by the Tennessee river. I grew up knowing all about UT. Neyland, Dickey, Majors, FUlmer. Smokey. There was a time and place that this palce was feared. My goal as head football coach is to get us back to that point.

    Thank you to Davenport, she can recruit for you. Excited about getting athletes in here, hope she will recruit for us. Dr. Joe, thanks. Fulmer, it’s rare to be able to work for someone who’s done what you’re about to do, but also at the same place. The question is always, “You haven’t been a head coach.”

    Our goal, what kind of team: We want to be big, fast, dominating, aggressive, relentless football team that nobody wants to play. That’s myu goal.

    How: Starts with recruiting. We started today with our own athletes. They know we want to change the culture. They’re hungry, excited. They’re ready.

    Everybody’s role: Positive energy. Everybody who touches UT, EEs, fans, boosters, especially former players. All have to be postiive, pull in one direction. If we do that, we’ll get what we all want.

    Ownership: Own your role. Let’s get ready to make Tennessee attractive to student athletes.

    Put together a staff: No. 1, good people. No substitute. Next, teachers. Have to coach everything. How to go to class, how to introduce themselves, where to sit, how to take notes. ON the field, Everything. Staff needs to have leadership ability. Good recruiters, loyalty to UT.

    Recruiting: Lifeblood. We’ll start right here in the state. From Knoxville, work our way out. This is going to be our state. We’ll create relationships, this is still a people business. WE’ll start as soon as we’re done here. I’ll be short so I can get to work.

    It’s all about athletes. I want guys who want a degree. That’s important. Want guys who have a plan. We have resources to help anybody achieve their goals. Want guys who want to develop and be the best on the field. With the staff we’ll hire, we’ll find ways to help them do that.

    Expectations: Everybody’s excited. My expectations — yours aren’t near what mine are. My expectation is to win every game we play. I believe our players, we’ll recruit to the NFL.

    What kind of team: Offense — Balance. Run when we want to. Domiante the LOS. You have to dominate up front. Mental and physical toughness. Explosive plays int eh pass game, starts with running. Defense — aggressive style, we dictate what offense does. Won’t sit back on heels, won’t play off receivers. We’re going to challenge.

    I got into this business for the kids. I was a K-3rd grade PE teacher. I taught everyone in Ft. Payne how to tie their shoes. I started suggesting velcro.

    I just looked at my notes, and last time I talked in public I forgot to thank my wife. I”m doing that now. Why did I get in the business, because of my dad, the impact they had on the community. I saw how they inspired people in our community. I knew I wanted to be like my dad. Thank you to all of them.

    Here’s why I came: I want to challenge everyone here. You didn’t draft me, I chose to be here. They chose to sign with UT. What we want, championships, let’s not talk about it, let’s figure out how to get there. It’s going to take everybody. Admin, maintenance, everybody. Positive energy. All in. It has to be contagious. I want to be part of it. When we recruit, everybody’s excited right now, my goal is five years from now, you’re this excited. Challenging everybody here, hands out of pockets, roll up sleeves, let get out in the streets with everybody else in the SEC, let’s not talk about it, let’s get ready, let’s go do it.


  7. Q: What was your impression of UT and what needs to be changed.

    A: You don’t look in the rear view. I’m looking forward. Ntohing happened last yeear is going to determine next year. We laid out a plan. When their legs start shaking and they start leaning in, you got ’em. Now we need to take it day by day. Here’s your first test. If you got a 65, get it to a 70. If you want to have a ssuccess, you need to learn how to finish.

  8. Q: Playoff, balance?

    A: I’m going back to why, I got into this for th kids. I’m all in for Tennessee. Until dead period, I’m working at UT. We’re starting. I also have a commitment to the kids at AL. Saban has been wonderful, after dead period starts, I’m going to coach them. It’s about the kids. I’m going to go back and finish.

  9. Q: Staff

    A: We’ll take our time and find the right fit, people of integrity, good teachers, people that are loyal and can recruit. It doesn’t matter if you’re from Tennessee, Alaska, you just have to be willing to get out there and sell it.

  10. Q: Who will you lean on while learning HC?

    A: Fulmer’s office isn’t far from mine. My dad’s done it a long time. I’ve worked for Saban, Richt, Fisher. As much as an assistant coach can be, I’m ready.

  11. Q: Staffing decisions.

    A: We’ll take our time, right guys, right fit. Not mentioning names right now.

  12. Q: Some coordinators still do their thing, what about you?

    A: Head coach should be involved in everything. Weight room, nutrition, academics. On Saturdays, we’re going to know about every situation ahead of time. I’m going to be involved in everything.

  13. Q: Stallings, Saban, what did you learn from them?

    A: Stallings used to always say, the most important thing is his eyes. Saban, numerous things. Organization. I started from ground zero his first year, very similar situation. How did we do it? I’ve worked for him in three different capacities. I’ve learned as much from my dad as I have anyone else.

  14. Q: Was it your goal to be an SEC head coach?

    A: I wanted to be like my dad, a HS football coach. When you surround yourself with good people, if you work hard, do your job, opportunities happen. This should inspire Hs coaches across the country. You’ll have an opportunity.

  15. Q: Have you had time to process your rise?

    A: If you stop, everybody will go right by you. I’m day to day. We’ll define the role for everyone in the organization. No, I’ve not stepped back and looked at it.

  16. Q: 3-4 defense?

    A: You play the best personnel you have. If the numbers don’t allow it, we’ll play 4-3, you have to be adaptable and flexible, that’s what we’ll do.

  17. Q: First impression of the team.

    A: Guys were on the edge of their seats. Notebooks, pens in hand, taking notes. I’m excited. First impression, I’m excited to coach these guys.

  18. Q: When did you realize you wanted to be a head coach at college level?

    A: Three or four, I was with Dad. When I was six or seven. I decided I might not want to do it. Dad was having a losing record. He was running the same play over and over. I got smart with him (good story), I thought I might get out that night.

  19. Q: Missed this question because I was laughing.

    A: Early signing period. We have to ID who fits at UT, then we have to get in front of them and recruit them. You worry about the ones you get, not the ones you don’t. We’ll target, critical factors at every position. What are their intangibles, are they leaders, are they dependable? Do they have issues? We don’t want to sign someone who doesn’t fit that.

    Don’t get out of whack at early signing period. We’ll figure it out. Don’t worry.

  20. Q: Worst season in history, do you think we can get there?

    A: I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think we couldn’t get there. We’ll have success here. Our goal is to dominate our opponent every day. Right now our opponent is in the mirror. We need to dominate the states that border us. Plus a couple others.

  21. Fulmer again:

    Fresh breath of air in Jerey. Let’s all get on board and follow his lead.

    Q: How did Pruitt convince you he wanted to be here?

    A: Nobody I talked to didn’t want to be at Tennessee. His energy, enthusiasm, intensity, background, appealed to me greatly. You can see and feel his passion. He cares about young people. Talked to them about academics today, their character, not spring practice. That appealed to me.

  22. Q: Last couple of days like? Do you see yourself in him at all?

    A: Chuckle. I hope he does as well or better. I’m here to support him. I’ve seen it at it’s absolute best here when everyone’s communicating. I’ve seen it when it hasn’t been very good. He’s a guy who can lead his football team. Everybody needs to pull in the same direction. Fans, boosters, everybody. You ahve a better chance to do well when you’re pulling together than when you’re pulling apart.

  23. Q: Was Pruitt already on the radar before Fulmer started as AD?

    A: He’s been on a lot of radars. He passed on all of our criteria. He expects to do well. He has a lot of work to do. Starting with finals. Finishing up with this class. Help them make decisions. Mid-term guys, spring practice. We should make progress toward our goals every day.

    Me, I’m looking forward to spending time with some other sports and coaches now. I like my chances with this coach.

  24. Q: Playoff

    A: I think it’s a plus, the exposure that will come from that. We’ve had great leadership in the past, and now we’ve got it again.

  25. Q: Alabama guy?

    A: My charge was to find the best coach, and that’s what we did. Re recruiting, was it fun, yes, it was exhausting, but fun. I’m a grinder, always been a grinder. Then you get to a place of conviction.

  26. Q: Advice to Pruitt for transition from coordinator to head coach?

    A: He’s been in a lot of roles. He won’t have a problem walking into an offensive staff room and figuring out what they’re doing. It takes something special to be able to lead; he has that. He gets the communication and trust with others to get everyone moving forward.

  27. Q: Fans.

    A: We appreciate our fans, they’re passionate, we’re blessed. So does AL, GA, FL, LSU. I have great respect for AL and what they’ve accomplished, particularly recently. Have to.

  28. Q: How much has game changed. Why focus on defense?

    A: I interview offensive coaches as well. It wasn’t really much of a factor. There is an intensity, passion, toughness, that comes from playing defense in this league. LOS gives you your best chance to be successful in the SEC. If your’e not physical, tough, tackling well, you’ll have a hard time winning. It’s ahrd to be cute and win in this conference. As you can tell, Coach is not a very cute guy.

    Make sure you put that whole sentence in.

  29. Q: Expand element of Tennessee’s program? [??]

    A: Don’t know what all Alabama has done, we commit to being competitive at the top of this league, I’ll leav it at that.

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