None of Jeremy Pruitt’s staff has been officially announced at Tennessee yet. But he’s reportedly tabbed several high quality assistants to join him with the Vols, and he’s reportedly adding another coach to his Tennessee staff.
According to a report from Tennessee’s Rivals.com affiliate site, Pruitt is looking to add Florida State defensive coordinator Charles Kelly to his staff. Tennessee seems to have a defensive coordinator already lined up in Georgia linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer, so it’s unlikely Kelly is joining Pruitt’s staff in a similar role.
Kelly has been coaching at Florida State since 2013 and was the special teams and linebackers coach there under Pruitt when he was the defensive coordinator in 2013. Kelly is expected to become the Vols’ special teams coach with some defensive responsibilities according to the report.
If Kelly is indeed added to Pruitt’s staff, he will be the ninth assistant to join Pruitt’s staff.
Kelly has very little prior experience in the SEC as an assistant coach. He was an assistant for Auburn in 1993 but hasn’t coached in the SEC since. He does have a good amount of Power Five experience, however. He coached at Georgia Tech from 2006-12 and has been at Florida State since 2013. He was promoted to defensive coordinator prior to the start of the 2017 season. It was the first time he had been a defensive coordinator since he was the DC for Nicholls State from 2004-05.
According to Florida State’s Rivals.com affiliate site, Kelly told them he already has a new job opportunity lined up but wanted to wait to announce it till after the Seminoles’ bowl game. Florida State blew out Southern Miss 42-13 in the Independence Bowl on Wednesday, December 27th.