Marquez Callaway reflects on UT coaching search, hiring Pruitt

Marquez Callaway reflects on UT coaching search, hiring Pruitt

Football

Marquez Callaway reflects on UT coaching search, hiring Pruitt

ATLANTA — Wide receiver Marquez Callaway reflected on Tennessee’s coaching search at SEC Media Days.

Callaway said “we really didn’t know what was going to happen or who we were going to have, all we could really do is sit there and wait.”

A day following the season finale loss against Vanderbilt, referred to as Schiano Sunday, the Tennessee fan base revolted in UT’s attempt to hire Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano.

The search ultimately went through other coaches ranging from Mike Gundy, David Cutcliffe, Jeff Brohm, Dave Doeren and Mike Leach.

Ultimately then athletics director John Currie was suspended and taken off of the coaching search trail by then UT chancellor Beverly Davenport, paving the way for Phillip Fulmer being named athletics director.

It did not take Fulmer long to choose his head coach with a vision of getting Tennessee back to competing at a championship level and the end result was hiring Jeremy Pruitt who has been part of five national championship teams.

“We knew the university would have the right person and it took us how many ever tries to get him and we finally got Coach Pruitt,” Callaway said. “One thing is, he (Pruitt) does not play. He harps a lot on discipline and toughness and that is what we are going to be.”

Having to instill discipline and toughness are part of a culture change at Tennessee moving on from Butch Jones’ regime.

“Coach Jones was a fun coach,” Callaway said. “He always laughed and played around with us, but there were times that we needed coaching and that’s one thing that Coach Pruitt does.”

Jones is now serving in an off-field position at Alabama under Nick Saban and Callaway is glad his former head coach landed somewhere.

“We knew he was going to have to get back out there, we knew he was not just going to sit around,” he said. “So I’m happy he found a job at Alabama.”

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