Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt asks Vols’ fans to help recruiting effort

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s Thompson-Boling Arena erupted in cheers Saturday afternoon when athletic director Phillip Fulmer was introduced during the second media timeout.

Fulmer, the Vols’ 67-year-old first-ballot Hall of Fame coach, kept the applause coming by introducing Tennessee’s 26th head coach, 43-year-old Jeremy Pruitt.

“I chose Tennessee because of the passion of the fans and the rich tradition at the University of Tennessee,” Pruitt said after bing greeted by Fulmer with a hug near center court. “We’re going to have one goal, and that’s to win every one of them.”

The Vols’ football team is coming off the program’s first-ever 8-loss season and winless campaign in SEC play.

Pruitt, who was hired on Thursday, is hosting several Tennessee recruits on official visits, many of them already committed and planning on signing on Dec. 20.

Pruitt asked the fans help him in the Vols’ recruiting efforts.

“Remember, every one of us represent Tennessee,” Pruitt said. “It’s recruiting season, so if you can touch somebody, let’s touch them all.”

Fulmer who was also 43 when he started his first full season as the Vols’ coach in 1993, put his arm around his young protege as the two walked off the court together.

The Vols’ 24th-ranked basketball team is playing host to Lipscomb at Thompson-Boling Arena.

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