There’s a good chance that Tennessee’s most important get during the early signing period was actually simply retaining the services of Craig Fitzgerald. Jeremy Pruitt hired Fitzgerald last winter to lead his strength and conditioning program, something that needed an upgrade after the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
Tennessee spent $660,000 dollars in renovations to the weight room, getting things up to date for Fitzgerald and Pruitt.
After just one season in Knoxville, Fitzgerald was approached by Maryland with an opportunity to go home to his alma mater. After a week of speculation, Fitzgerald has chosen to remain with the Vols.
As the signees start to roll in for @Vol_Football, one of @CoachJPruitt’s biggest recruits was holding onto head strength coach @UTCoachFitz, who told Pruitt this morning he was staying at Tennessee after Maryland made a hard run at Fitzgerald.— Chris Low (@ClowESPN) December 19, 2018
Above all else, Tennessee needs some continuity as a program. By fending off Maryland, it’s hard to see Fitzgerald going anywhere anytime soon.
USA Today reported that Fitzgerald was the second highest paid strength coach in the country, making $625,000 annually.
Excited to welcome all these new VOLS to the TEAM! Let’s get to work!! #PoweredByTheT pic.twitter.com/mDuub6O1lw— Craig Fitzgerald (@UTCoachFitz) December 19, 2018