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Tennessee hires Alabama assistant Jeremy Pruitt as coach

Tennessee has announced that it has hired Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt as its new head football coach.

By STEVE MEGARGEE, AP Sports Writer

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee has hired Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt as its head coach, capping a tumultuous search that cost an athletic director his job as the Volunteers attempt to recover from one of their most disappointing seasons.

The school scheduled a news conference for 6:05 p.m. Thursday to introduce Pruitt.

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. Fulmer took over for John Currie, who was suspended just eight months into the job as Tennessee investigates whether it can fire him for cause.

Pruitt replaces Butch Jones, who was fired Nov. 12 after going 34-27 overall and 14-24 in Southeastern Conference competition in five seasons. Tennessee went 4-8 this season and set a school record for losses.

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