Alabama head coach Nick Saban holds his SEC Media Days press conference at the College Football Hall of Fame on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: ccompton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton
Photo: ccompton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton

Alabama players embrace new coaches

After losing a handful of coaches that included former defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, Nick Saban was faced with the task of filling the holes in his staff. 

It’s not an unfamiliar situation. Many of Saban’s past protégés left Alabama for the NFL or head coaching jobs at other FBS programs. At this point, the players are used to the turnover and expressed complete faith in their head coach’s ability to assemble the best staff possible. 

When asked if he ever wondered where Saban found his coaches, junior linebacker Anfernee Jennings assured that he doesn’t question the decisions and trusts that Saban did the research. 

Saban outlined what he looks for when trying to fill out his staff while at the podium during SEC Media Days on Wednesday. 

“I want people who are knowledgeable and good teachers, but I also think they have to be really good fit on your staff,” he said. “I think those are probably the critical factors. … I like to help develop those coaches so when they go someplace else and coach, I can hire them back someday. Because I'd rather hire somebody that I know as a person in terms of who they are, kind of character they have, kind of leadership they demonstrate, the kind of teacher they can be, rather than having to go on somebody else's recommendation.”

The Crimson Tide will lean on six new coaches this season, including fresh offensive, defensive and special-teams coordinators. Saban has “a lot of confidence” in offensive coordinator Mike Locksley and noted that “the players have responded extremely well” to him. Defensive coordinator Tosh Lupoi has not called defenses before, but is working closely with defensive assistant Pete Golding. 

Saban intends to keep a watchful eye on them to ensure Alabama maintains its dominant defense while continuing to find success on offense. 

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