Report: Craig Fitzgerald to Stay at Tennessee

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    (Photo By Kyle Zedaker/Tennessee Athletics)

    There had been plenty of speculation that Tennessee strength and conditioning coordinator Craig Fitzgerald would be leaving UT’s staff to take the same position on Maryland’s new football staff. But those fears can rest easy now.

    Chris Low of ESPN reported this morning that Fitzgerald will, in fact, be staying with Tennessee. Low reported that Fitzgerald will remain on staff as the Vols’ strength coach and won’t return to his alma mater.

    Shortly after ESPN’s Chris Low reported Fitzgerald would be staying in Knoxville, Fitzgerald confirmed he was staying through his personal twitter.

    The tweet comes at the perfect time for Tennessee, as according to Low, one of Jeremy Pruitt’s biggest recruits was hanging on Fitzgerald’s decision. Low went on to say that Fitzgerald told Pruitt this morning that he was staying at Tennessee despite Maryland’s hard run at him.

    Fitzgerald’s interest in the Maryland job wasn’t shocking. He was a three-year letter-winner with the Terps from 1994 to 1996 after beginning his career as a walk-on. After graduating from Maryland, Fitzgerald served as an assistant director of strength and conditioning with the Terps from 2000 t0 2005.

    His ties to Maryland were what made the decision so tough for Fitzgerald. According to multiple sources, he was Maryland bound on Tuesday. It is unclear what exactly swayed Fitzgerald to ultimately stay at Tennessee, but the fact that he and his family love living in Knoxville played a role. Tennessee’s commitment to Fitzgerald in building a new weight room also played a role.

    Tennessee is paying Fitzgerald over $600,000 annually, and he’s the second-highest paid strength and conditioning coordinator in college football.

    Ben McKee is a graduate from the University of Tennessee and has a degree in Journalism and Electronic Media. He covers Tennessee football, basketball, baseball, and the Lady Vols for RTI, and he's also the host of the RTI Podcast. You can also hear Ben on the morning sports radio show "The Swain Event." He's the producer and co-host along with former Vol wide receiver Jayson Swain.