An historic home loss to unranked Kentucky already has coaching ramifications for Tennessee.
Defensive line coach and co-defensive coordinator Jimmy Brumbaugh was fired Sunday by Vols third-year coach Jeremy Pruitt, according to two sources. VolQuest.com’s Austin Price was first to report the story.
Brumbaugh was among Pruitt’s high-paid staff additions to his revamped group of coaches coming off Tennessee’s 8-5 2019 campaign, which ended with six-straight wins including a come-from-behind win against Indiana in the Gator Bowl.
The Vols then awarded Brumbaugh with a guaranteed, two-year deal worth $1.3 million over the term of the pact. Despite dismissing Brumbaugh on the heels of Saturday’s 34-7 loss to Kentucky, Tennessee’s worst-ever loss as a ranked team to an unranked team and the Vols’ worst loss to the Wildcats in 85 years, Brumbaugh is still owed $812,500 by the University of Tennessee for his contract that runs through January 31, 2022.
Pruitt hired Brumbaugh away from Colorado prior to Mel Tucker’s defection from Boulder to Michigan State earlier this year. Brumbaugh was one of three new hires to Pruitt’s Vols’ staff, and Pruitt also elevated Joe Osovet from an analyst role to tight ends coach, when he also moved previous tight ends coach Brian Niedermeyer to linebackers coach.
Brumbaugh also had previously been on staff at LSU, Kentucky, Maryland and Syracuse, prior to his time with the Buffaloes and the Vols.
Tennessee’s run defense has not been a consistent disappointment this season for the Vols, who are 2-2 after opening wins against South Carolina and Missouri followed by blowout-losses at Georgia and home against Kentucky.
The unit ranks 35th nationally against the run, allowing 148.8 rushing yards per game. That figure, however, is just eighth-best in the SEC. Tennessee’s 24 tackles-for-losses, an average of six per game, ranks 40th nationally.
The Vols face second-ranked Alabama Saturday inside Neyland Stadium (3:30 p.m., CBS).
Update> Jeremy Pruitt says he will coach the defensive line the rest of the season.