TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher has tabbed Alabama secondary coach Jeremy Pruitt as the new defensive coordinator for the Seminoles. Pruitt becomes just the third defensive coordinator in the last 28 years at FSU and replaces Mark Stoops who was named head coach at the University of Kentucky.
“I’m very excited to add Jeremy to our staff,” Fisher said. “He brings a lot to the table. He’s one of the bright young coaches in college football. He’s done an outstanding job at Alabama and in the past as a great high school coach. He’s also a good recruiter, but most importantly of all, he’s a great person. I’m really looking forward to him coming to Florida State and helping us to continue achieving the success that we’ve had and will continue to have. We’re very fortunate to be adding him to our program.”
“This is a great opportunity for me to join another one of the top college football programs in the country and take over as defensive coordinator for one of the best defenses out there,” Pruitt said. “I really appreciate Coach Fisher and his staff in welcoming me to the Seminole family. I’ve enjoyed my time at Alabama and am grateful to Coach Saban and my Crimson Tide family for their support in preparing me as I begin the next chapter in my coaching career.”
Pruitt, 38, has spent the last three seasons directing one of the best defensive backfields in the country for one of the nation’s best defenses. Since Pruitt has coached the secondary at Alabama, the Crimson Tide has ranked in the top 10 in pass efficiency defense and top 15 in pass defense in all three seasons while also ranking in the top five in total defense and scoring defense. Pruitt also has been recognized as a tremendous recruiter. He was named as “National Recruiter of the Year” by 247Sports.com last year in helping Alabama land the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation.
“Jeremy did an outstanding job for us and the opportunity for him to become the defensive coordinator at Florida State is well deserved,” Alabama head football coach Nick Saban said. “We always want our coaches to grow and advance in the profession and Jeremy has worked very hard through the years to earn this opportunity and put himself in this situation. We appreciate all that he has done to contribute to the success we’ve had at Alabama and wish him the best in his new role.”
Pruitt has made an impact in Tuscaloosa his last two seasons. In 2012, Alabama ranks No. 6 in pass defense yielding just 166.23 yards per game and No. 8 nationally in pass efficiency defense (101.56) while also leading the nation in total defense (246.00 ypg), rushing defense (79.77 yards per game) and ranking second in scoring defense (10.69 points per game). In 2011, Alabama not only led the nation in pass defense (111.46 ypg) and pass efficiency defense (83.69 ypg), but the Crimson Tide led the nation in rushing defense, total defense and scoring defense on its way to winning the BCS National Championship.
Pruitt joined the Alabama staff as Director of Player Development in 2007 after a successful stint as an assistant coach at Hoover (Ala.) High School. At Hoover, he served for three seasons as defensive backs coach with the final two as the defensive coordinator. He tutored a defense that helped the Bucs reach the Class 6A state championship in 2004, 2005 and 2006, winning titles in 2004 and 2005. Pruitt served as an assistant coach under his father, Dale Pruitt, at Fort Payne High School from 2001-03.
Pruitt began his coaching career as a student assistant coach at Alabama during the 1997 season, working under defensive backs coach Curley Hallman. After one year on the UA staff, Pruitt joined his father’s staff at Plainview High School as defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator in 1998 and 2000. He spent one season as defensive backs coach at the University of West Alabama, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1999.