Jeremy Pruitt asked about his job status at Tennessee following Gus Malzahn's firing at Auburn
It’s been a rough season on Rocky Top for Jeremy Pruitt, but at least he still has a job.
That’s not something Gus Malzahn, Derek Mason or Will Muschamp can still say.
Of course, if some Tennessee fans get their way, Pruitt will be next on the chopping block. Pruitt’s team may have to impress this weekend to keep him employed as the Volunteers currently sit at 3-6 on the season with No. 5 Texas A&M set to come to Knoxville in the regular season finale on Rocky Top.
Should Tennessee fall to the Aggies and finish the season with a 3-7 record, that’s only going to add to the current level of frustration in Knoxville.
You know things are rough when Pruitt is being asked about his job security during his press conferences but that’s where things are currently at for the Tennessee coach.
Here is what Pruitt said when asked if Fulmer has assured him that he will return next season.
“We’ve been focused on every day at practice, the teams that we are playing,” Pruitt answered on Monday. “All of that stuff is always at the end of the season. We’ve been working hard to be the best that we can possibly be.”
Not much of a response there.
Pruitt was then asked to share his thoughts on Gus Malzahn being fired at Auburn. If you read between the lines, that means Pruitt is sitting on the hottest seat in the SEC at the moment.
Did he see all those coaching changes coming, considering the pandemic and the financial difficulties surrounding the pandemic?
“Well absolutely, it’s an unusual circumstances, right? And nobody knows the circumstances around each individual job,” Pruitt said. “I got a lot of respect for all three of those men, coaching against them, getting to know them while I’ve coached in this league. I think they’ve done a phenomenal job at the places they’ve been. It’s really the rough part of this, when there is a coaching change, whether it’s somebody leaving or somebody getting another opportunity.
“The people that suffer are the student-athletes because you build the relationships. Recruiting them to come to a certain school. I’ve had it both ways, right? We’ve been fired before and we’ve gotten opportunities before. The worst part of it in either scenario in the people that you’ve created these relationships with and bond with to recruit them to come to a certain school. That’s the people that suffer in all this.”
That’s an interesting response and one that suggests Pruitt is asking for Tennessee’s leadership to think of his players before making a final decision on his job status.