Then Tennessee turned to Washington State head football coach Mike Leach, who reportedly had a great meeting with then Tennessee athletic director John Currie, the deal was blown off as Currie was removed from his position and Phil Fulmer took over the athletic director position as well as the football coaching search on December 1.
He's served as the Crimson Tide's defensive coordinator the past two seasons, doing so after being the DC at Florida State in 2013 and at Georgia from 2014-15.
The 43-year-old is widely recognized as an excellent recruiter and was a Broyles Award finalist in 2016.
The Vols' search became major news after the job was given to (and then rescinded from) Greg Schiano.
Alabama topped the nation in run defense last season and ranks third in that category this year. "He will do a great job at Tennessee and we wish him the best".
Tennessee was close to hiring Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano on November 26 before that deal fell through amid a public backlash. Currie also flirted with Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm and N.C. State's Dave Doeren and Washington State's Mike Leach before being replaced by Fulmer.
The nearly comically long and twisting road to finding a new Tennessee football coach may finally end tomorrow. During that time, the Crimson Tide appeared in the College Football Playoff both years, losing to Clemson in the national championship game in 2016. Prior to his DC stays with those southeastern programs, Pruitt coached at Alabama - his alma mater - for six seasons, the final three as defensive backs coach.