TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WRCB/FSU) -- Florida State made a pair of coaching hires official Thursday, naming Alabama defensive backs coach Jeremy Pruitt as its new defensive coordinator and ex-Tennessee defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri its defensive ends coach.
Pruitt joined Nick Saban's staff in Tuscaloosa since 2007 after a successful stint at Hoover High in Alabama. He'll become just the third FSU defensive coordinator in the last 28 years.
"This is a great opportunity for me to join another one of the top college football programs in the country and take over as defensive coordinator for one of the best defenses out there," Pruitt said in a statement. "I've enjoyed my time at Alabama and am grateful to Coach Saban and my Crimson Tide family for their support in preparing me as I begin the next chapter in my coaching career."
Pruitt, who is a former Alabama player, replaces Mark Stoops, who left the Seminoles last month to become the new head coach at Kentucky.
"I'm very excited to add Jeremy to our staff," said Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher. "He brings a lot to the table. He's one of the bright young coaches in college football. He's done an outstanding job at Alabama and in the past as a great high school coach. He's also a good recruiter, but most importantly of all, he's a great person."
Pruitt's defensive backs have ranked in the top ten in pass efficiency defense and top 15 in pass defense in each of the last four seasons, and he was named the "National Recruiter of the Year" by 247Sports.com last year.
"Jeremy did an outstanding job for us and the opportunity for him to become the defensive coordinator at Florida State is well deserved," Saban said. "We always want our coaches to grow and advance in the profession and Jeremy has worked very hard through the years to earn this opportunity and put himself in this situation."
Sunseri, who is also a former Saban assistant, has a wealth of experience coaching in the SEC and the NFL, but spent just one season in Knoxville where the Vols' defense struggled to one of its worst showings in school history.
"Another great recruiter. Another great guy that's coached in the NFL, coached tons of first-round picks at linebacker and defensive end. A lot of knowledge," Fisher said of Sunseri. "We have been friends for a long time. He brings a lot to the table. And that's another guy in the system who also knows that system. So you've got a front-end guy to help bridge that gap."
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