KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Coach Jeremy Pruitt’s mission is to get the Volunteers back to the status they enjoyed when his new boss was roaming the sidelines.

Pruitt took over as Tennessee’s coach Thursday, capping a tumultuous search in which Phillip Fulmer replaced John Currie as athletic director. Tennessee is coming off one of its most disappointing seasons and hasn’t won the Southeastern Conference’s Eastern Division title since 2007, the year before Fulmer was forced out as the Vols’ coach.

“There was a time and place that this university was feared among the SEC teams,” said Pruitt, who has spent the last two seasons as Alabama’s defensive coordinator. “My goal as the head football coach at the University of Tennessee is to get us back to that point.”

Nobody’s feared Tennessee lately.

The Vols opened this season in the Top 25 but finished 4-8 to set a school record for losses, as they went winless in SEC competition for the first time since the league formed in 1933. Those results led to the Nov. 12 firing of Butch Jones, who went 34-27 in five seasons.

Tennessee followed up its poor season with a tumultuous coaching search that grew more embarrassing as it dragged on.

Pruitt, who has been an assistant on four different national championship teams, believes he can get Tennessee back to the heights it reached in the 1990s and early 2000s when Fulmer was coaching the team. This marks Tennessee’s fourth coaching search since Fulmer’s exit.

“Your expectations aren’t near what mine are,” Pruitt said. “I’ll tell you right now, my expectations are to win every game we play. That’s the expectation I have.”

AP PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Baker Mayfield is The Associated Press Player of the Year, becoming the fourth Oklahoma quarterback to win the award since it was established in 1998.

Mayfield easily outpointed Stanford running back Bryce Love, who came in second. Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, the other finalist and last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, was third in the award announced Thursday.

Mayfield is a former walk-on who has led the No. 2 Sooners to the College Football Playoff, where they will play No. 3 Georgia in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1. Mayfield leads the nation in passer efficiency rating and has thrown for 4,340 yards and 41 touchdowns.


BOWDOIN 70, BATES 63: Hugh O’Neil had 12 points and 11 rebounds, and Jack Simonds added 14 points and seven rebounds to lift the Polar Bears (6-2) past the Bobcats (4-1) at Brunswick.

Tom Coyne scored 22 points for Bates, while Nick Lynch added 12 points and 10 rebounds.


COLBY 72, BECKER 36: Haley Driscoll had 22 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Mules (4-3) to a win over the Hawks (4-4) at Waterville.

Katie McCrum added 10 points, seven rebounds, and five assists for Colby, while Paige Russell contributed with 12 points and five rebounds.

Sarah Ware and Cassidy Harrison each scored seven points, while Ware added seven rebounds for Becker.

(4) LOUISVILLE 79, VANDERBILT 57: Asia Durr scored 25 points and the Cardinals (10-0) overcame a first-half lull to beat the Commodores (3-7) in Louisville, Kentucky.

(10) WEST VIRGINIA 73, PITTSBURGH 52: Teana Muldrow had 20 points and 11 rebounds as the Mountaineers (8-0) beat the Panthers (5-4) in the first matchup between the schools since 2012, in Morgantown, West Virginia.

(14) DUKE 85, UNC- GREENSBORO 54: Erin Mathias scored a career-high 24 points and the Blue Devils (7-2) rolled to a win over the Spartans (4-5) in Durham, North Carolina.