KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee head football coach Jeremy Pruitt announced Monday that A.J. Artis has been named director of football sports performance. Artis, who has played a valuable role in the strength and conditioning development of the Volunteers since 2018, replaces Craig Fitzgerald, who accepted a similar position with the New York Giants earlier this spring.
“A.J. understands the standard we expect in this role and will continue to push our strength and conditioning efforts to the forefront of college football,” Pruitt said. “Since he first joined our staff in 2018, he has helped instill physical and mental toughness in our program through his contagious energy, hard work and innovation. Our players have tremendous respect for him, and I have no doubt they will continue to develop under his mentorship.”
“I would like thank Coach Pruitt and Coach Fulmer for the opportunity to lead a great group of young men,” Artis said. “I will give my all to our student-athletes and the Tennessee football program. I am excited for this opportunity and look forward to helping Vol football continue its resurgence.”
Artis’ staff includes assistant football sports performance directors Mike Farrell, Byron Jerideau and Shaq Wilson, all of whom enter their third season with the program. Artis joined Pruitt’s staff in January 2018 and served alongside Fitzgerald as the Vols became one of the fittest teams in the country.
Prior to his arrival in Knoxville, Artis spent two seasons at Duke working as assistant director of strength and conditioning. He joined the Blue Devils in the summer of 2016 and primarily trained the football and field hockey programs. He also helped direct high-performance efforts with several other varsity sports. The Duke field hockey squad he trained in 2016 was ranked in the top five for the entire season and advanced to the NCAA Championships.
Artis collaborated with head football sports performance coach Noel Durfey during the 2016 and 2017 seasons. The 2017 Blue Devils won the Quick Lane Bowl led by future NFL first round draft choice Daniel Jones, who Artis worked with.
Artis’ time at Duke was preceded by stints at Appalachian State and Campbell. As a graduate assistant at Appalachian State, he worked with the Mountaineers football program, which recorded its first-ever bowl win during his tenure. Appalachian State, in just its second season in the Football Bowl Subdivision, beat Ohio in the 2015 Crampton Bowl. Artis also oversaw the strength and conditioning efforts of the Mountaineers’ field hockey and golf programs.
At Campbell, he logged valuable experience with football, baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, softball, track & field and wrestling.
Artis was a three-year football letterman at Campbell from 2012-14, playing wide receiver as an underclassmen before transitioning to tight end his last two seasons. He was a three-time academic honor roll member and graduated with a degree in exercise science in 2015. He later earned a master’s degree in exercise science from Appalachian State in 2017.
A native of Eden, North Carolina, Artis is married to the former D Janelle Brown of Edmond, Oklahoma.
Born: August 14, 1993
Hometown: Eden, North Carolina
Education: Bachelor’s in exercise science (Campbell, 2015); Master’s in exercise science (Appalachian State, 2017)
Playing Experience: Campbell, WR/TE (2011-14)
2014-15: Campbell, Strength and Conditioning Intern
2015-16: Appalachian State, Strength and Conditioning Graduate Assistant
2016-18: Duke, Assistant Director of Strength and Conditioning
2018-20: Tennessee, Assistant Director of Football Sports Performance
2020-present: Tennessee, Director of Football Sports Performance