Tennessee has fired defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh, team officials confirmed on Monday. 247Sports initially reported the firing on Sunday. This comes after the Volunteers fell to Kentucky 34-7 at home.
Brumbaugh was hired in February to replace veteran coach Tracy Rocker. Brumbaugh, a former defensive tackle who played for Auburn from 1995-98, has served as a defensive line coach all across the country including at Colorado (2019), Maryland (2017-18), Kentucky (2013-16) and Syracuse (2010-11).
The move is a big shocking considering the Volunteers currently are tied for third in the SEC in tackles for loss per game at six and fifth in opponent red zone touchdown percentage at 53.33%. Despite that, coach Jeremy Pruitt didn't seem very thrilled with the play up front on defense.
"We're just not very dominant up front, Bob," Pruitt told the Vol Network after the Kentucky loss. "And if you're going to win in this league, you better be dominant up front. You better be able to play man-to-man. When you tackle running backs, you need to be able to knock them backwards. And we did that the first half, but we didn't do it the second half. It was kind of like I told the team: They called the same plays the first half, and we really called the same defensive plays the first and second half. But why was the two halves different?"
Things won't get easier for the Vols. They will host No. 2 Alabama at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday on the SEC on CBS Game of the Week. That Crimson Tide team has one of the most dominant offenses in the country, and the Vols will need all of the help that they can get.