Former Tennessee Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt recently sat down with DawgNation’s Mike Griffith to discuss a variety of topics.

Pruitt was asked about the biggest lesson he learned during his time as Tennessee’s head coach.

The former Alabama defensive coordinator pointed out that he had to learn that he “couldn’t do everything” by himself.

“I would say for me, figuring out that I couldn’t do it all myself,” said Pruitt. “I had always been on one side of the ball and it was easy to manage one side of the ball and coach my position. When you add the offensive element, the special teams element, recruiting, and all the things involved, it takes a lot of folks. That’s probably the biggest thing is learning that.”

Pruitt also threw in some shade, though I’m not sure who it was directed at or what he was referencing.

“And you can’t believe everything that you’re told, either,” said Pruitt.

Tennessee Vols
Tennessee Vols Head Coach Jeremy Pruitt at practice on Sunday, August 4, 2019.

It’s interesting to hear Pruitt talk about not being able to do it all himself because that’s probably the biggest reason why he failed at Tennessee.

Pruitt wasn’t good at delegating. He micromanaged every aspect of the program, which is a surefire way to fail as a head coach.

It was so bad, that Pruitt, at times, would change the play that offensive coordinator Jim Chaney had called. One particular example came during the Vols’ loss to Auburn in 2020 when Pruitt called for a pass play that hadn’t been practiced. The result of the play was an interception by Smoke Monday that was returned for a touchdown.

That play completely changed the tone of the game. Tennessee would go on to lose what was an otherwise competitive game.

There’s no doubt that Pruitt is a bright football mind. He’s one of the best defensive play-callers in the sport. But when it came to being a head coach, he simply couldn’t get out of his own way. Maybe if he gets another shot — depending on the outcome of the NCAA investigation into Pruitt’s recruiting tactics — he’ll learn from his mistakes at Tennessee and learn to trust his assistant coaches.

Featured image via Calvin Mattheis/News Sentinel, Knoxville News Sentinel via Imagn Content Services