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Embattled Pruitt set to hire veteran SEC DC

Jeremy Pruitt is scheduled this week to meet with attorneys, investigators and school officials probing the University of Tennessee's football recruiting practices.

Nonetheless, the Volunteers' embattled third-year coach is making a move to fortify the Tennessee defensive staff – finalizing a deal to hire veteran defensive assistant Kevin Steele.

A former Vols assistant coach decades ago, Steele most recently served as Auburn's defensive coordinator and interim head coach after the school last month fired head coach Gus Malzahn.

Per sources familiar with the process of Tennessee hiring the longtime SEC assistant and former Baylor head coach, Steele is being hired into an on-field assistant coach's role. Steele is not joining the University of Tennessee is an analyst or quality control role, per sources briefed on the situation.

FootballScoop on January 2 wrote about Pruitt's interest in hiring Steele, and Pruitt also has been conducting interviews for at least one vacancy on the offensive side of the ball – that of offensive line coach. The Vols have multiple other assistant coaches on expiring deals and also are poised to lose assistant strength coach for football, Byron Jerideau, to rival South Carolina, which is Jerideau's alma mater.

ESPN first formally reported Steele's impending hire on Tuesday.

As always stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest coaching news.