It looks like Jeremy Pruitt’s staff at Tennessee is starting to take shape.
Pruitt was announced as the new head coach of the Volunteers on Thursday after serving as Alabama’s DC each of the past two seasons. His arrival marks a new era in Knoxville and puts an official end to the wild search at Tennessee.
The hire looks to be a solid one as Pruitt arrives with a strong track record and time spent in the SEC. He is also wasting no time in setting the first pieces of his staff with the Volunteers.
It was announced Thursday that Pruitt was bringing in Colorado State OC and OL coach Will Friend to be the OL coach at Tennessee. The two previously spent time together while on staff at Georgia in 2014.
ESPN’s Chris Low also reported a number of other coaches that are being added to Pruitt’s staff. Low indicated that Pruitt will retain Robert Gillespie as RBs coach.
Jeremy Pruitt already putting together Tennessee staff. As reported by Volquest, USC passing game coordinator and QBs coach Tyson Helton will join him along with Colorado State OC/OL coach Will Friend, Colorado State DB coach Terry Fair and Tennessee RB coach Robert Gillespie.
— Chris Low (@ClowESPN) December 7, 2017
Gillespie has served in that position since coming to Tennessee in 2013. While fans are likely wanting to distance themselves from all things Butch Jones in a hurry, Gillespie is the one holdover that should excite fans.
After all, the group of RBs that has cycled through Knoxville each of the past two seasons has been one of the few bright spots in a disappointing stretch. Alvin Kamara, John Kelly, and Ty Chandler have produced some impressive performances despite the recent struggles. With that in mind, keeping Gillespie in Knoxville looks to be a smart move.