According to a report from 247Sports, Craig Fitzgerald is expected to leave Tennessee for a position with the New York Giants. The report by 247Sports stated, “Fitzgerald interviewed with the New York Giants earlier this week and is expected to leave the Vols for the NFL job.”
Fitzgerald is regarded as one of the nation’s top strength and conditioning coaches and has been in Knoxville since Jeremy Pruitt was first hired to replace outgoing head coach Butch Jones in 2017. Fitgerald turned down the University of Maryland — his alma mater — last season and also was thought to have turned down the University of Alabama this season to remain with the Vols.
Pruitt hired Fitzgerald away from the Houston Texans and made him one of the highest paid strength and conditioning coaches in the country. According to 247Sports, Fitzgerald earned $625,000 annually during his time as the Vols’ strength and conditioning coach — the third highest in the nation. Fitzgerald also served as the strength and conditioning coach at Penn State and South Carolina prior to joining Tennessee’s staff.
Fitzgerald is the third Tennessee assistant coach to leave the Vols for the NFL, as Chris Rumph left Knoxville for the Houston Texans, and Kevin Sherrer also departed for the Giants. The Vols also lost assistant coaches Drew Hughes and Tracy Rocker to the University of South Carolina earlier in the offseason, making Fitzgerald the fifth coach Jeremy Pruitt must replace entering his third season as the head coach of the Vols.
UPDATE 3/19/20, 6:34p.m. ET: Fitzgerald took to twitter to confirm the news that he is leaving the University for a position with the New York Giants. He thanked Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt, athletic director Phillip Fulmer, and fans of the Vols in his official statement, which you can read below.
Thank you Vol Nation! pic.twitter.com/2bzuvkbfh8
— Craig Fitzgerald (@UTCoachFitz) March 19, 2020