TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban announced on Friday the hiring of Jeremy Pruitt, a former defensive back with the Crimson Tide, as Alabama’s new defensive coordinator.
“We are excited to announce that Jeremy Pruitt has rejoined our staff at Alabama as defensive coordinator,” Saban said. “He did an outstanding job in the six years he was with us and did the same at Florida State and Georgia after that. Jeremy is obviously an excellent defensive coach, and also does a great job in terms of recruiting and developing relationships with players. We’re pleased and happy to have Jeremy and his family back in Tuscaloosa.”
Pruitt joins the Alabama staff after spending two seasons as defensive coordinator/secondary coach at Georgia (2014-15). Pruitt’s 2015 Georgia defense currently ranks eighth nationally in total defense, allowing 298.0 yards per game, leads the nation in passing yards allowed per game (146.1 ypg), ranks second nationally in red zone defense (.645), third nationally in first down defense (173), eighth nationally in pass efficiency defense (102.96) and is ninth nationally in scoring defense (16.9 ppg). In 2014, Pruitt’s Georgia defense ranked 17th nationally in total defense (337.2 ypg), fourth nationally in turnover margin (+1.23) and was fifth nationally in passing yards allowed (170.4 ypg).
Pruitt served as both defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach at Florida State in 2013 as part of a staff that led the Seminoles to an undefeated season and the 2013 national championship. That Seminole 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 was 18th in rushing defense (124.8 ypg).
“This is a special opportunity for me to come back to the University of Alabama,” Pruitt said. “Growing up in the state and having played and coached here, I have a great appreciation for Alabama football. Coach Saban’s success speaks for itself and I wouldn’t be where I am today without the chance he gave me to join his staff back in 2007. We are excited to get back to Tuscaloosa and be a part of one of the outstanding programs in college athletics.”
Pruitt previously served on the Crimson Tide staff for six seasons (2007-12), coaching the Tide defensive backs from 2010-12. In that role, Pruitt mentored several notable Crimson Tide stars including safety Mark Barron and cornerbacks Dre Kirkpatrick, DeQuan Menzie and Dee Milliner. Pruitt originally joined the Alabama staff as Director of Player Development in 2007.
From 2004-06, Pruitt enjoyed 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 began his coaching career as a student assistant coach at Alabama during the 1997 season, where he worked under defensive backs coach Curley Hallman. After one year on the UA staff, Pruitt joined his father’s staff at Plainview High School as defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator in 1998 and 2000. He spent one season as defensive backs coach at the University of West Alabama, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1999.
During his collegiate career, Pruitt played at both Middle Tennessee and Alabama. He began his career at Middle Tennessee under legendary coach Boots Donnelly, where he was a two-year starter at safety and cornerback for the Blue Raiders. After his sophomore season, Pruitt transferred to Alabama where he played two seasons under Gene Stallings. As a junior, Pruitt played in nine games and recorded seven tackles. As a senior, Pruitt played in seven games as a backup defensive back and was a member of Alabama’s 1996 SEC Western Division Championship team that beat Michigan 17-13 in the Outback Bowl in Tampa. A two-time All-State defensive back, Pruitt helped Plainview High School to a 48-8 record during his four-year career. He earned All-State honors in both 1991 and 1992.
All such employment contracts are subject to approval by The University of Alabama Board of Trustees.