Just ten years ago, before Jeremy Pruitt had any national championship rings, and before Kevin Sherrer had climbed the ranks as a defensive coordinator, both were serving as assistant coaches at Hoover HS (AL) under the legendary Rush Propst.
Hoover was already a nationally recognized football powerhouse under Propst, but they reached a whole new level after appearing on MTV's "Two-A-Days" series. That spotlight, coupled with their success and relationships with high school coaches, eventually led to both Pruitt and Sherrer landing jobs in player development at Alabama under Nick Saban. Pruitt went on to help lead Florida State to their first national title since Bobby Bowden in 1999, and Sherrer landed as the defensive coordinator at South Alabama.
Over the past few weeks, the two have linked up again, this time at Georgia under Mark Richt. Just in case you've been living under a rock, Richt hit a grand slam by hiring Pruitt as his defensive coordinator, and then hit a home run the very next at bat by hiring Sherrer as a defensive assistant.
Propst opened up to The Telegraph to explain what has made his two former coaches so successful, so quickly, and his message should be read carefully by all coaches looking to climb the ranks.
"The thing that those two guys can do is relationships. They know how to coach kid. Everybody will have an open-door policy into Jeremy's office, and Kevin's office. The thing about those two guys - they're completely polar opposite, now. Jeremy coaches different than Kevin does. And that's what makes them so good as a tandem together, they have different personalities. The ability to wear a black hat, a white hat, is a key to a good coaching staff. That's where those two guys know how to adapt, know how to handle kids."
"The thing with Kevin and Jeremy, they're going to walk into high school locker rooms and coaches' offices, and they're gonna know what that high school coach is thinking, because they've been there," Propst said. "To me, that's a critical, critical, critical part of recruiting that has been left out of it for years. Now the people that are building it, shoot, they're way ahead of the game."
With the two's history together, Propst is confident that Richt (who returns all but one starter on the defensive side of the ball) hired two of some of the best coaches available because they won't need any time to get up to speed with on another.
"The thing that Georgia has to do, is their defense has to play with some personality. And Jeremy brings that. Sherrer knows what Jeremy wants done. There's no learning curve, there's continuity in scheme. He doesn't have to look over his shoulder. It's just a sounding board."