KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Vols head into Thanksgiving week on a four-game winning streak with a bowl game already clinched. Jeremy Pruitt has a lot to be thankful for in his second season as head coach at Tennessee.
“Number one, I am thankful for my family. My wife, my kids, my mom, my dad, my brothers and sisters. I think we all are. I am thankful for having an opportunity to work for the University of Tennessee. I am thankful for these players that we have a chance to be around every day and what a blessing they are to us. I am thankful for the men that I work with. There are lots of things to be thankful for," Pruitt said at his Monday press conference.
Tennessee heads into the regular season finale with a chance to finish with a 7-5 record if it can beat 3-8 Vanderbilt. A win would put Tennessee at 5-3 in SEC play, matching the program's best conference record since 2007. Not many people thought that was possible after the Vols started the season 1-4 with home losses to Georgia State and BYU.
The team stuck together through the tough times and Pruitt was repeatedly said he enjoys just being around these guys.
"This is probably my favorite holiday just because of that. I think we get caught up sometimes in the wins and losses. I realize that is what we get paid to do, but the opportunity to work with the men in this profession, to be around the student-athletes and everybody that touches the student-athletes and watch them grow over a period of time, it is why I wanted to get into coaching football, so I could be a part of something like this. So, I am thankful to have an opportunity to do it at a wonderful university that football is so important to,” Pruitt said.
Fourteen seniors will be honored before Saturday's 4 p.m. kickoff at Neyland Stadium.