FSU hires Alabama assistant Jeremy Pruitt as new defensive coordinator
Nick Saban will have to fill a hole on his staff following the BCS National Championship game in January.
Alabama secondary coach Jeremy Pruitt will leave his alma mater to become the defensive coordinator at Florida State after the Crimson Tide's title game against Notre Dame on January 7.
"He will stay here and coach the bowl game, which I don't feel is an issue or a problem." Saban said on Thursday after Alabama's third BCS title game practice. "The guy played at Alabama. He loves Alabama. It's tough for him to leave Alabama, but it's a professional decision I think he had to make."
Pruitt was hired to Saban's staff in 2007 as the Director of Player Development before being promoted to his current position following Alabama's 2009 national championship season. He is credited for the development of two first round NFL draft picks in safety Mark Barron and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, and he will likely have a third player drafted in the first round with the likely early departure of Dee Milliner, who is currently projected as a top 10 pick in the 2013 draft.
In a post-practice interview on Thursday, Milliner said he understood Pruitt's decision to leave and wishes him nothing but the best.
"That's just part of college football. You're going to get the opportunities to help your families and do different things." Milliner said. "For him to be a defensive coordinator, that's great for him. I wish him the best and hope he can go along to Florida State and win more games."
Along with the promotion to a coordinator position, Pruitt will receive a significant pay raise in Tallahassee on Jimbo Fisher's staff. He is reportedly set to make around $540,000 per season at Florida State, which is more than double the $260,000 he made at Alabama this season.
Pruitt takes over on defense for Mark Stoops, who left the Seminoles earlier this month to become the new head coach at Kentucky.