Richt hires Florida State defensive coordinator

Former Florida State defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt was introduced as the new defensive coordinator at Georgia Tuesday. Tuesday.



ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia’s new defensive coordinator is Jeremy Pruitt, a fast-rising assistant in the college ranks who was plucked off the national championship staff of Florida State.

Pruitt ran the Seminoles defense for one season as its coordinator after spending three seasons as secondary coach at Alabama.

Georgia coach Mark Richt had a succinct statement about the hire when the school made it official Tuesday afternoon.

“I’m ecstatic,” he said.

Richt landed Pruitt in warp speed, less than 48 hours after news broke that Todd Grantham was leaving after four seasons to become defensive coordinator at Louisville.

Florida State led the nation in scoring defense last season (12.1 points per game), ranked tied for second in turnovers gained (35) and third in total defense, (281.4 yards per game).

“This is an outstanding professional and personal opportunity,” Pruitt said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to meeting the current players and getting on the road to visit with recruits.”

With a recruiting contact period starting Thursday, Pruitt will do just that. First, he’ll meet with the media at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Like Grantham, he worked under Nick Saban in a base 3-4 scheme so the Bulldogs shouldn’t need an overhaul on defense.

“It’s been eight years ago I’m lining off fields, I’m washing practice uniforms, I’m going to pick up guys,” Jeremy Pruitt, 39, told reporters before the BCS national championship game. “I’ve been very fortunate to be around really good programs, a lot of good guys.”

“BIG hire for the Dawgs!!!,” ESPN analyst Kirk Herbsteit tweeted when asked about the Pruitt hire.

Pruitt will take over a Georgia defense that ranked tied for 78th in scoring defense, 45th in total defense and 109th in turnovers gained.

Pruitt should get a hefty boost in compensation. He was earning $503,450 at Florida State. Grantham was making $850,000 a year.

“That doesn’t hurt,” said Rush Propst, who Pruitt worked for at Hoover. “When you’re in this profession, you have to strike when the iron’s hot. That additional $300,000 or more that you make, if you take it over a three year span, that becomes a million dollars. ... It’s very hard to stay on top and as an assistant coach. It’s harder to stay on it then it is to get to it.”

Georgia and Pruitt have agreed to terms verbally, athletic director Greg McGarity said, but the program has not released the length of the contract and his total compensation, nor if Georgia will pay Pruitt’s buyout to his former school.

Georgia's Mark Richt hopes to quickly find replacement for Grantham
Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham leaving for Louisville
Florida State rallies past Auburn to claim BCS national title
Florida State defense shines in rout

As defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach at Florida State, Jeremy Pruitt was part of a staff that led the Seminoles to a undefeated season and BCS championship.


Scoring defense 12.1 pts 1st

Passing efficiency defense 93.77 yds 2nd

Total defense 281.4 yds 3rd

Rushing defense 124.8 yds 18th





UGA defensive improvement overshadowed by offensive struggles

ATHENS, Ga. — In the latter stages of Saturday's 24-10 loss to Florida in Jacksonville, Kirby Smart didn't see any quit in a Georgia defense that... Read more

Georgia quarterback Eason feels the heat from Florida defense

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Beating Florida isn't an easy chore for a true freshman quarterback.

Just ask Matthew Stafford, Quincy Carter, Eric... Read more