Losing football games creates pressure, and sometimes pressure leads to staff changes. Rarely, however, does it happen like this. Tennessee has cut ties with defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh after just four games. Head coach Jeremy Pruitt confirmed the move today.
Brumbaugh replaced Tracy Rocker after Rocker’s contract expired this winter. Pruitt wasted no time on the search, seemingly with Brumbaugh in mind from the start. That relationship didn’t last very long, however.
“Yesterday I decided to make a change at the D-line position,” Pruitt said on Monday. “Coach Brumbaugh done a really nice job for us, he worked his tail off. Sometimes from a philosophical standpoint, things are just not a fit, and it just didn’t work out for us, so I decided to do that. I’m going to coach the defensive line for the rest of the season.”
Brumbaugh signed a two-year deal this offseason with Tennessee worth $650,000 annually.
While the timing of the move is a surprise, Pruitt was vocal throughout camp about his defensive line’s lack of progress. The group was really solid in the first half against Kentucky, but understandably wore down as Tennessee’s offense couldn’t stay on the field.
“If it’s not working out, it’s better just to do it right now,” Pruitt said. “Me and Jimmy had a really good conversation. Unfortunately, probably because of the COVID circumstance — when you’re a new coach and you’re not able to be around your players in March, April, May, and limited in June, it puts you at a disadvantage. This is no knock on Jimmy as a coach, whatsoever. He’s one of the most knowledgeable coaches I’ve been around and he’ll do a good job wherever he goes. Just something I felt like we needed to do, and we did it.”
Will more changes come? If Tennessee keeps up their current pace on offense, you would have to think so.