Tennessee Football has made amazing strides under head coach Jeremy Pruitt, and one big reason why is strength coach Craig Fitzgerald.
One coach that Tennessee football and Jeremy Pruitt has had to work hard to keep is strength and conditioning coach Craig Fitzgerald. It looked like that he previously was going to return home to Maryland, but he decided to stay.
Unfortunately, the Vols couldn’t keep him when the New York Giants came calling. He made things official by releasing a statement on Twitter.
"“I want to thank Head Coach Jeremy Pruitt,” Fitzgerald said in a statement, “Director of Athletics Phillip Fulmer, Senior Associate Athletic Director Tyler Johnson, our strength staff and the many student-athletes who have represented our program since the spring of 2018. Tennessee is a first-class program and will continue to rise under Coach Pruitt’s and Coach Fulmer’s leadership. We will forever be grateful for our time in Knoxville.“I will be returning to the NFL and joining the New York Giants. Thank you for everything and GoVols!”"
This loss is a big hit to the Tennessee football program and the athletic department as a whole. Since Pruitt and Fitzgerald’s arrival, we saw the Tennessee players get bigger and bigger each week under the new coaching staff.
I don’t think that will change much since Pruitt now has a couple of years under his belt as the head coach, but we could see the strength and conditioning department take a hit with Fitzgerald leaving.
He was the third-highest strength coach in college football, and he coached like a top-tier coach in the weight room. I think the players and even recruits really liked Coach Fitz, so Pruitt is left making a difficult hire and not a lot of time to waste.
With the NCAA currently sidelining its college athletics, this gives Pruitt an opportunity to make a hire without the players taking a big hit in the weight room.