TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Turns out Florida State is losing more than just a handful of players early to the NFL draft this offseason.
The national champion Seminoles are also going to be filling a spot on the coaching staff after it was announced Tuesday afternoon that defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt is taking the same job at Georgia.
Pruitt will be introduced at a press conference in Athens, Ga., on Wednesday at 11 a.m.
"This is an outstanding professional and personal opportunity," said Pruitt. "I’m looking forward to meeting the current players and getting on the road to visit with recruits."
Pruitt has had a say in the last three national championships, winning in 2011 and ’12 as Alabama’s defensive backs coach and then on Jan. 6 as Florida State’s defensive coordinator. The Seminoles’ defense led the nation by allowing just 12.1 points per game, 156.6 passing yards per game and was No. 1 with 26 interceptions in 2013.
He earned $500,000 at Florida State plus $7,500 for helping the team reach the ACC championship game and an extra two months’ salary for participating in the BCS championship game.
Part of coach Jimbo Fisher’s new extension was an extra $500,000 into the bonus pool for Florida State assistants. But Pruitt reportedly accepted $850,000 annually from Georgia.
Under the terms of Pruitt’s contract, he owes Florida State a buyout of $75,000. Pruitt was under contract at Florida State through the 2015 season.
Florida State is now looking for its third defensive coordinator in as many years. Mark Stoops guided the Seminoles’ defense from 2010-12 before taking over as Kentucky’s coach.
But Fisher’s search may not go far as he could look to promote one of two assistants that he hired before the 2013 season.
Defensive ends coach Sal Sunseri and linebackers coach Charles Kelly both have coordinator experience. Sunseri was Tennessee’s defensive coordinator in 2012 and was previously an assistant at Alabama from 2009-11 under Nick Saban. Kelly filled in as Georgia Tech’s defensive coordinator in 2012 after the midseason firing of Al Groh, and Kelly helped the Yellow Jackets reach the ACC championship game.