Craig Fitzgerald releases statement following his decision to leave Tennessee for NFL opportunity
Tennessee will soon be looking for its 10th strength coach in 13 seasons on Rocky Top.
That’s the result of Craig Fitzgerald’s decision to leave the program for the New York Giants, which was first reported by Patrick Brown of 247Sports.
The head of the Volunteer strength program confirmed the news on Thursday with the following statement:
“I want to thank Head Coach Jeremy Pruitt, Director of Athletics Phillip Fulmer, Senior Associate Athletic Director Tyler Johnson, our strength staff and the many student-athletes who have represented our program since the spring of 2018. Tennessee is a first-class program and will continue to rise under Coach Pruitt’s and Coach Fulmer’s leadership. We will forever be grateful for our time in Knoxville.
“I will be returning to the NFL and joining the New York Giants. Thank you for everything and Go Vols!”
Upon his hire in Knoxville, Jeremy Pruitt hired Fitzgerald away from the Houston Texans. Fitzgerald previously worked for Penn State and South Carolina and was proving once again why he had a reputation as one of the best strength coaches in the nation as Tennessee had begun to show the physicality and strength on the field following a few seasons in Fitzgerald’s program.
“When you compare the last two (seasons), we’re further along now, which we should be with the experience that we have coming back. I think our kids are excited to be back out there, and we’ve had a great offseason,” Pruitt recently said of Fitzgerald. “Guys have worked really hard, Coach Fitz (Craig Fitzgerald) and his guys have done a fantastic job with helping them grow, get stronger, and change their bodies, and getting them ready to practice. So, I felt like we were in really good condition today for the first day, and I felt like as the practice went, the stronger we got.”
Now Pruitt is tasked with his biggest offseason hire to date in replacing one of the nation’s best strength coaches.