RAINSVILLE — Dale Pruitt is a little fuzzy on the details. He can’t remember exactly how old his son was at the time.
“He was maybe in the fourth grade,” the Plainview High School football coach said. “We had played a game, and I don’t recall if we had lost or if it was just a close game, but some of the coaches and I were talking, and he was there. He spoke up out of the blue and said he wasn’t real crazy about the play calling.”
This is Alabama coach Nick Saban’s newest assistant coach.
This is Jeremy Pruitt.
“Jeremy has always been outspoken,” said his mother, Melissa Pruitt.
Her son played for her husband at Class 3A Plainview High School, atop Sand Mountain in northeast Alabama, then served on his father’s staff, including three seasons at nearby Fort Payne High School.
“Sometimes it got a little tense in our house,” she said. “It got interesting. Like when they were disagreeing over personnel. . . . Sometimes Dale would remind him that it was his team. If he wanted to be a head coach, he could get his own team.”
The son eventually went to Hoover High School, where he was an assistant coach for three seasons before he came to Alabama in 2007 as the director of player development. When an assistant coach left Alabama in January, Pruitt was promoted to full-time assistant. As the Crimson Tide’s defensive backs coach, he works alongside Saban.
That is no job for the meek, which makes Pruitt a perfect fit.