Robert Gillespie was a rare breed on Jeremy Pruitt’s staff. He was the only holdover from the Butch Jones’ era at Tennessee.
Now that Gillespie and the program have parted ways, athletic director Philip Fulmer revealed the nature of the conversations which took place in connection with Gillespie’s departure.
He spoke Wednesday at the Big Orange TipOff Club according to Mike Wilson of the Knoxville News.
“This is a big boy’s business,” Fulmer said. “He understood. He was very professional. We talked yesterday. It was simply a matter of coach (Jeremy) Pruitt doing what he thought was right for his program and Robert.
“Robert was fine. Robert is OK. He didn’t like it, I’m not saying that. But he’s OK. He understood. It’s a big boy business.”
The quote starts off a little antagonistic, but its clear that Gillespie got the message. It was just last week that he spoke to the fans at the Tennessee Theater, when she showed his excitement about the future.
“I’ll tell you this, some people get an opportunity to coach at the University of Tennessee one time, I’m fortunate this is my second time to be a coach at Tennessee and I’m excited,” Gillespie said. “As you look at the [coaches seated] behind me, obviously coach has done a really good job putting the staff together.”
Gillespie’s departure might impact recruiting and his former position as recruiting coordinator suggests the Volunteers might have some extra work to do on the trail.
He was responsible for both the development of Alvin Kamara and John Kelly, so Tennessee certainly has some big shoes to fill.
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