Tennessee football will need Jeremy Pruitt to out-coach opponents for wins this year. Here is a ranking of all the coaches on the Volunteers’ 2019 schedule.
So much of a program’s success comes down to the quality of coaches on their schedule in a given year. Tennessee football took advantage of Ray Goff and Jim Donnan leading the Georgia Bulldogs for years in the 1990s, and they also benefitted from Mike DuBose and Mike Shula coaching the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 1990s and 2000s.
Also in the 2000s, they made the Florida Gators series more competitive in the years between Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer, with Ron Zook at the helm. But by the time Georgia had Mark Richt, Florida had Meyer and Alabama had Nick Saban, the wheels came off the program. Spurrier returning to lead the South Carolina Gamecocks only made it worse.
Phillip Fulmer was fired after the second year all four of those guys were coaching at their respective schools together, and the Vols have never recovered, despite all but one of those schools having new head coaches. So Tennessee football’s success can be dictated by coaches at other programs if they don’t have the right head coach.
As Jeremy Pruitt enters his second season on Rocky Top, Vols fans are hoping they found a brilliant tactician who can finally give them an advantage over some of the elite coaches in the league. Pruitt showed some of that last year by upsetting the Auburn Tigers and Kentucky Wildcats.
But what are his chances of out-coaching opponents this year? Well, in this post, that’s exactly what we’re going to break down. Every coach on UT’s schedules is going to be analyzed and ranked to give you an idea of what lies in front of Pruitt.
Our criteria for ranking the coaches doesn’t just include what they’ve done. We also look at what they did amid the circumstances they faced and if they have performed better or worse than the previous staff of the program they run. Maybe they just maintained it. Either way, all of that will be relevant to these rankings.
Despite their non-conference slate being seemingly easy, the coaches on there may be good enough to make things more difficult than people are aware. And, as usual, the conference slate is loaded with great coaches. So let’s go ahead and break down who they all are. This is our ranking of all 12 head coaches of Tennessee football’s 2019 opponents.