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As Tennessee’s football coaching search continues, Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt is a name who has gathered some buzz in the past few days, since Phillip Fulmer’s appointment as athletic director.
Angela Gosnell/News Sentinel

Finally, the search is over.

Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt and Tennessee have finalized a deal that will make Pruitt the Vols’ coach, according to a report Thursday morning by ESPN.com’s Chris Low. Pruitt will be introduced at a news conference Thursday night, Low reported. 

Tennessee has not announced the hire, but Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports and SI.com reported that Pruitt will receive a six-year deal. 

Pruitt and fellow defensive coordinators Kevin Steele of Auburn and Mel Tucker of Georgia were considered finalists for the job, which has been open since Tennessee fired Butch Jones on Nov. 12.

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Pruitt is in his second season as Alabama’s defensive coordinator after two years in the same position at Georgia. His first year as a defensive coordinator was in 2013 at Florida State. The Seminoles led the nation in scoring defense that season en route to a national championship. He was a finalist that year for the Broyles Award, given to the nation’s top assistant.

More: UT Vols: 5 things to know about Jeremy Pruitt

During Pruitt’s five seasons as a defensive coordinator, he’s never presided over a defense that ranked lower than 16th nationally in scoring defense. Alabama has ranked first nationally in scoring defense the past two seasons.

Nick Saban tapped Pruitt to be his coordinator after Georgia hired Kirby Smart off Saban’s staff in December 2015.

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The Tennessee coaching search has gone through a tumultuous week.
Angela Gosnell/News Sentinel

“There was no doubt who I was going to hire,” Saban said of Pruitt then, according to Al.com. “Didn’t interview anybody. Didn’t talk to anybody. Just hired the guy.”

“It was a…