The Vols were willing to pay big money for a successful power-5 coach (they made an offer to Gundy that would've made him one of the highest paid coaches in college football), but money wasn't enough to entice any of them to come rebuild Tennessee.
Pruitt's success this season is particularly impressive given how hard Alabama's defense has been hit by injuries.
Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban talks with defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt during the A-day game at Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on April 22, 2017.
Pruitt also was defensive coordinator for Florida State's 2013 national championship team, which led the nation in scoring defense.
He was a marquee component in four national titles during the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) era, including three with the Crimson Tide in 2009, 2011 and 2012.
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The senior finished in fourth in 2015 before climbing up to third in 2016, throwing 76 touchdown passes between those two seasons. Jackson will look to defend his title against Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield and Stanford running back Bryce Love .
Sources say the contract is believed to around $4 million annually and Pruitt will be introduced later this afternoon in a formal press conference. "That's a high bar that was set, but I think player development, which will be much better, is more important and Pruitt should have a leg up there". Before that he served as the defensive coordinator at Georgia from 2014-15 and at Florida State in 2013.
Pruitt is in his second season as the Alabama defensive coordinator. Pruitt is now the fifth-highest paid assistant in the country, making $1.3 million a year.
Pruitt, 43, is a two-time Broyles Award finalist as the top assistant coach in college football.
This will be Pruitt's first head coaching opportunity after a long career as an assistant. However, the search for a new coach had been so unsuccessful that it was even jokingly rumored North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un even turned down the job.
"Six days ago, I mentioned several attributes that I sought to find in the next leader of our football program, and Coach Pruitt meets all criteria" Vols athletic director Phillip Fulmer said in a news release. And now it appears that Pruitt is pursuing another Colorado State coach, and this coach is also a former Vol player and assistant.