Georgia hires FSU's Pruitt to head defense

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 14, 2014 at 4:35 pm •  Published: January 14, 2014
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ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Georgia coach Mark Richt moved quickly to name a new defensive coordinator, hiring Jeremy Pruitt from Florida State on Tuesday, only two days after losing Todd Grantham to Louisville.

Richt said he is "ecstatic" to add Pruitt to the Georgia staff. Pruitt has coached on three straight national championship teams at Alabama and Florida State.

Under Pruitt, undefeated Florida State led the nation in scoring defense, allowing 12.1 points per game, and ranked third in total defense while winning the national championship.

Pruitt also was Florida State's defensive backs coach, and the Seminoles ranked second in the nation in passing efficiency defense.

Pruitt, who was in Athens on Tuesday, said the move to Georgia "is an outstanding professional and personal opportunity."

"I'm looking forward to meeting the current players and getting on the road to visit with recruits," Pruitt said.

Georgia expects to return 10 starters on defense.

Pruitt already has a close relationship with at least one Georgia assistant coach. Pruitt began his playing career at Middle Tennessee State before transferring to Alabama, where he was roommates with Georgia offensive line coach Will Friend.

Georgia did not release terms of Pruitt's contract. Grantham was earning $850,000. Pruitt, 39, earned $500,000 in 2013 and was expected to receive a raise at Florida State.

Before moving to Florida State, Pruitt was the secondary coach at Alabama for three seasons, including the Crimson Tide's national championship teams in 2011 and 2012.

With the Feb. 5 national signing day only three weeks away, Richt moved quickly to hire Pruitt, who is known as a strong recruiter.

Pruitt produced instant results in his one season at Florida State.

"He taught us the ins and outs of everything," Florida State safety Terrence Brooks said recently. "Just the way to pursue to the ball, the way to go get the ball, everything you can think about in football he's taught us. He really broke the game down to us as to why we're running this type of defense.



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