Coach Mark Richt didn’t have to look any farther than the newly crowned national champion Florida State staff to find his defensive coordinator. Jeremy Pruitt has been hired to replace Todd Grantham and will take over a young defense that returns 10 starters this fall.
As defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach at FSU, Pruitt was part of a coaching staff that led the Seminoles to an undefeated season and 2013 BCS National Championship. The FSU defense ended the season ranked first nationally in scoring defense (12.1 ppg), second in team passing efficiency defense (93.77), third in total defense (281.4 ypg), and 18th in rushing defense (124.8 ypg). He was a finalist this year for the Broyles Award which goes annually to the nation’s top assistant coach.
“I’m ecstatic,” said Richt.
“This is an outstanding professional and personal opportunity,” said Pruitt.
“I’m looking forward to meeting the current players and getting on the road
to visit with recruits.”
Pruitt had been with FSU since December 2012 after coaching the secondary at Alabama for three years. He joined the Alabama staff as Director of Player Development in 2007 after a successful stint as an assistant coach at Hoover (Ala.) High School. At Hoover, he served for three seasons as defensive backs coach with the final two as the defensive coordinator. He tutored a defense that helped the Bucs reach the Class 6A state championship in 2004, 2005 and 2006, winning titles in 2004 and 2005. Pruitt served as an assistant coach under his father, Dale Pruitt, at Fort Payne High School from 2001-03.
Pruitt played at both Middle Tennessee and Alabama. He began his career coaching under legendary coach Boots Donnelly at Middle Tennessee, where he earlier was a two-year starter at safety and cornerback for the Blue Raiders. He transferred to Alabama following his sophomore season where he played two years under Gene Stallings and was a roommate of current Georgia offensive line coach Will Friend. As a junior, Pruitt played in nine games and appeared in seven more games as a senior backup defensive back. He was a member of Alabama’s 1996 SEC Western Division championship team that beat Michigan 17-13 in the Outback Bowl in Tampa.