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Phillip Fulmer buries speculation about a return to coaching, shares support for Jeremy Pruitt

Over the past several years there has been a small trend of guys that had been out of coaching for a number of years making a comeback.

Former Notre Dame coach Bob Davie was out of coaching over a decade before coming back to the sidelines to lead New Mexico in 2012. Herm Edwards had made the transition to TV analyst before a return to the sidelines at Arizona State. Most recently, Mack Brown made the jump back to college football after six seasons out of the game.

With that in mind, when a program is struggling like Tennessee is this season, and you've got a College Football Hall of Fame coach like Phillip Fulmer who won national titles with the school and went 152-52 leading the program as your current athletic director, it's only a matter of time before chatter starts about a possible return for him to the sideline.

However, Fulmer threw a cold bucket of water on that talk yesterday during an appearance on Vol Calls.

"The other thing that keeps coming up and I am going to just address it, the coaching chapter of my life is long closed. I love doing what I am doing at UT, but I love more being with my family and grandchildren," Fulmer shared, according to Knox News.

Fulmer also shared his full support of Jeremy Pruitt, who he hired back in December of 2017 following an embarrassing coaching search fiasco that ultimately led to his insertion into the AD role for the Vols.

"I totally believe in coach Pruitt and the job he is doing. He is a leader and a recruiter. He is a hard worker. He is tough-minded. He confronts the issues that we have and we came in, I tell everybody — I don't think they listened very well — we had lots of issues to deal with," Fulmer shared, adding the team is just a few turnovers from being 3-1 right now.

Pruitt and the 1-3 Vols are about to embark on a tough three-week stretch here. They take on Georgia this weekend, followed by a home visit from Mississippi State before they hit the road for Alabama on the 19th of the month. Things look a bit easier beyond that, with winnable games against South Carolina, UAB, Kentucky, Missouri and Vanderbilt to end the season.

Head over to Knox News to read the full piece.