Now that the national championship game is in the books, former Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt is now fully immersed in his new job as Tennessee's new head football coach.
Earlier this week, Pruitt met the media for the first time since Alabama's overtime win over Georgia. The new Volunteer head coach talked about his staff which has a few former Gamecocks.
Chris Rumph, a Calhoun County graduate who as a linebacker, was on USC's 1994 team which captured the program's first bowl win, is Tennessee's new co-defensive coordinator. Rumph will also coach outside linebackers.
One of Rumph's coaching stops is Alabama where he and Pruitt worked together. In addition to being a former Alabama assistant, Rumph was a head coach at Calhoun County High School. He is also a former assistant at S.C. State, Memphis, Clemson, Texas and for the past three years, he was the defensive line coach at Florida. Even though Rumph was retained by new Gator head coach Dan Mullen, Rumph accepted Pruitt's offer to come to Knoxville.
"He's a great pass-rush technician and we're excited to have him," said Pruitt of his former Crimson Tide colleague.
Rumph was a co-defensive coordinator at Florida and was promoted to interim defensive coordinator when Randy Shannon was promoted to interim head coach after the dismissal of former head coach Jim McElwain.
Pruitt also officially announced the hiring of former USC football strength and conditioning coach Craig Fitzgerald who was on the Gamecock staff under Steve Spurrier from 2009-2011. Fitzgerald left to go to Penn State before following, will be the Volunteers' strength and conditioning coach. The strength staff will also have former Gamecock linebacker Shaq Wilson and defensive lineman Byron Jerideau, both of whom tweeted Friday night that they are a part of Tennessee football strength staff. Jerideau was an assistant strength coach at USC, while Wilson was a quality control assistant for the defense.