Big Orange Nation reacts to new head coach - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Big Orange Nation reacts to new head coach

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The Jeremy Pruitt Era has officially begun at the University of Tennessee. Despite the roller coaster of emotions the last couple weeks, many former players and fans believe coach Pruitt was worth the wait.

Bill Mayo was an All-American guard for Tennessee in the early 80's and is now an assistant coach on the Dalton High School football team. Mayo didn't mind the long wait, as long as the Vols found the right coach, which he believes they did. 

"He has a great background" says Mayo. "He's coached with some really great coaches like Mark Richt, Nick Saban, Kirby Smart, and Jimbo Fisher. So he's learned from the best in the business and you'd like to think he's learned quite a bit from those guys."

Former Vols running back and current Notre Dame assistant coach Gerald Riggs Jr. also believes that Pruitt was a great hire.

Riggs Jr. told Channel 3 that he's "a guy that can obviously coach, motivate, and recruit" and "he knows what it takes to win championships and more importantly knows how to develop talent.”

John Rice has been a Tennessee fan for a long time and he believes that UT athletic director Phillip Fulmer hit the nail on the head finding someone from within the SEC.

"I'm happy with the selection" says Rice. "I'm happy with the process that Phillip Fulmer took over. He stayed within the SEC. Currie was going all over the country looking for a coach with no SEC experience. Phillip Fulmer thought that was an important part of the selection process. If you're going to play in the SEC you need to know how to coach in the SEC."

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