Tennessee offered its head coaching job to Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, Chris Low of ESPN.com reports, adding the Volunteers are attempting to finalize the deal as of Wednesday night. During a search that's seen some insane twists, Fulmer informing these other defensive coaches he's moving on appears to provide a good indication Tennessee is confident it can reach a deal with Pruitt.
Currie scurried all over the country but failed miserably while trying to get Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano, Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy, Purdue's Jeff Brohm and North Carolina State's Dave Doeren to succeed Jones, who was sacked two games short of five full seasons at Tennessee. He was defensive coordinator at Florida State in 2013 when the Seminoles won a national championship.
Pruitt's first coordinator job came at Florida State in 2013.
Pruitt joined Alabama in December 2015 shortly after his predecessor, Kirby Smart, left to become the Georgia Bulldogs head coach. Last year, Pruitt's defense led the nation in scoring defense, giving up just 13 points per game.
Pruitt's hiring also brings an end to what was generally a disastrous head coaching search at Tennessee.
Not surprisingly, Pruitt took what was already an elite Alabama defense under Smart and helped it maintain its standing. Pruitt may need a little longer to turn the Volunteers into a national title contender.
He named his son, born in May, after former Alabama linebackers Ryan Anderson and Reuben Foster.
Fulmer has placed a priority on finding a defensive coach, Low reports, and Pruitt is also regarded as a top-flight recruiter. He was head coach in Knoxville from 2010-12. Dooley coached with Saban at LSU and with the Miami Dolphins. Less than a week after having the full-time job, Fulmer appears to have his coach. The school and Schiano agreed to a deal on November 26 but Tennessee backed out after a ridiculous level of fan backlash against the deal.
It was during that meeting that Currie was put on paid leave and Fulmer, who has acted as a special advisor to the university, was chosen to be the new athletic director.
For many, the twists and turns throughout the search for Butch Jones' replacement were emblematic of the internal turmoil that has plagued the football program.