“When I first walked in and they were all together, it was like a flashback – I felt like I was back at Hoover High. You had Jeremy’s office, you had Myra’s, then Brandon’s, Todd’s, Kevin’s all right there. It was the whole Hoover deal which makes me proud and they all deserve it. Every single one of them deserve to be where they are because of what they have done. They have all been successful in so many different ways. Hoover was just part of that chapter, it wasn’t the final chapter.” — Rush Propst
KNOXVILLE — As the 2018 season approaches with the Vols taking the practice field August 3, kicking off fall training camp, Vols Wire takes a look at the former Hoover High School coaches and staff that are now at Tennessee for the Jeremy Pruitt era – Jeremy Pruitt, Kevin Sherrer, Todd Watson, Brandon Sheppard and Myra Miles. Danny Stiff is also on staff at UT as Assistant Director of Player Personnel and played at Hoover, winning three state championships from 2002-04.
The fourth part of the Hoover to Rocky Top series features Kevin Sherrer. Sherrer is defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach at Tennessee.
Sherrer and Jeremy Pruitt are reuniting once again in their coaching careers.
The two defensive coaches spent a lot of time coaching together as they worked their way up the coaching ranks.
Both played at Alabama and were teammates in 1995.
From 2005-06, Pruitt was defensive coordinator at Hoover High School and Sherrer was a defensive assistant under him. Sherrer replaced Pruitt as defensive coordinator at Hoover as Pruitt departed to launch his college coaching career at Alabama under Nick Saban as Director of Player Development.
Pruitt worked his way up to coaching on-field as Saban’s defensive backs coach in 2010. Sherrer replaced Pruitt’s role as Director of Player Development simultaneously at Alabama.
Their coaching roles remained the same from 2010-12 before they took different roads to become a defensive coordinator. Pruitt became Florida State’s defensive coordinator in 2013 and Sherrer went to South Alabama in the same capacity.
Their separation lasted only one season as Mark Richt hired Pruitt as his defensive coordinator at Georgia from 2014-15. Pruitt brought in Sherrer to coach his outside linebackers, a position he remained in under Kirby Smart, who replaced Richt in 2016 as head coach; Pruitt replaced Smart as Alabama’s defensive coordinator the past two seasons.
Sherrer was a graduate assistant from 1998-2000 at Alabama and then joined the city of Hoover’s new high school, Spain Park, as defensive backs coach.
The coaching position at Spain Park was unique as the 2001 season was the school’s first to field football, and in 2002 Spain Park first fielded a varsity team.
Eddie Garfinkle was Spain Park’s defensive coordinator working with Sherrer.
“We started the school in 2001 with ninth and tenth graders, so we were coaching junior varsity on Monday night and ninth grade on Thursday night in our first year in 2001,” Garfinkle said in the book Fulmer Hires Pruitt. “When they started the school, we didn’t have 11th and 12th graders.”
Sherrer left Spain Park following the 2004 season for Hoover to coach with Pruitt who moved to defensive coordinator, replacing Todd Watson.
Garfinkle knew then-Hoover head coach Rush Propst and put in a good name for Sherrer.
“I went to college with Rush Propst, so I knew him from playing together at Jacksonville State,” Garfinkle said. “So Rush hired him – and not because of my recommendation – but because he had done a good job. He was easy to recommend. I told Rush you can’t get a better guy than Kevin that knows football and treats people right.“