Tony Barnhart: ‘Tennessee has a good situation’ with Pruitt and Fulmer

Tony Barnhart: ‘Tennessee has a good situation’ with Pruitt and Fulmer

Football

Tony Barnhart: ‘Tennessee has a good situation’ with Pruitt and Fulmer

SEC Media Days has brought a lot attention towards Jeremy Pruitt before he takes the podium as Tennessee’s head coach.

A pair of former Georgia quarterbacks question Pruitt’s ability to be a head coach while Paul Finebaum of the SEC Network says Pruitt’s time in Athens played a factor in Georgia’s program currently.

In the book Fulmer Hires Pruitt, Pruitt’s time at Georgia was felt.

Tony Barnhart discussed Prutt’s time at Georgia as defensive coordinator from 2014-15.

“My first thought was that this guy has a little bit of an edge to him, which is kind of good,” he said. “He was clear on what he was trying to get accomplished and the thing that I found most interesting is that different defensive coaches do it different ways and Jeremy’s way was going to be teaching something new to the players, his system and as he put in each part of the system he didn’t move on to the next part until he was convinced that the guys got it.

“I know a lot of coaches that throw a lot of stuff at guys and hope they pick up part of it. You could tell he was a son of a teacher in the sense that he was going to teach it and teach it and teach it and teach it and was not going to move on until they knew it.”

Another area that stood out to Barnhart of Pruitt’s Georgia tenure was his take on Georgia’s facilities.

At the time, Georgia’s only indoor practice facility was a multi-purpose facility that housed a 20-yard by 60-yard turf field and space being too small for all position units to practice at length when practice was forced indoors.

“For the longest time when Mark Richt was there, there was this ongoing debate as to whether or not Georgia needed an indoor practice facility,” Barnhart said. “They had a small version and was not big. Some were saying Georgia needs one because Tennessee has one, Alabama has one, Auburn has one; some were saying well no they don’t need one. Mark Richt mentioned it, but he never pushed the issue and then one day someone came to Jeremy and asked him about it and he said Georgia is at a competitive disadvantage in not having an indoor practice facility at a place like Georgia. So that also impressed me and these things made me believe that someday he was going to be a head coach.”

All-in-all, Barnhart views Pruitt being at Tennessee with Phillip Fulmer as athletics director a win-win situation for the Vols as Pruitt launches his head coaching career in the SEC.

“He never told me this, but just based on observing him I believe he wanted to be a head coach and a head coach in the SEC and prove what he could do at the highest level. He is a very no-nonsense kind of guy and is very focused on the task at hand and what he is going to bring to Tennessee is what people at Tennessee are going to like.

“Tennessee has a good situation now with Jeremy there and having Phillip in the athletics director chair, that’s a really big deal. To me it’s a situation like Phillip Fulmer and Doug Dickey, having the guy in the athletics director office who understands what the coach is going through and who you can lean on – it’s a big deal for Tennessee.”

 

Latest

More VolsWire
Home