Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, coach of Washington D.C.-area charter school Friendship Collegiate Academy will be joining Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama in an unspecified defensive role. Abdul-Rahim, who has produced numerous star recruits as a coach, is taking a leave of absence to take on the new role with the Crimson Tide.
Under the guidance of Abdul-Rahim, Friendship Collegiate Academy has sent more than 40 students to Division I schools since 2009. The emphasis Abdul-Rahim places on getting inner-city athletes to the next level has been the focus of their program.
“We made a culture where our championship is on National Signing Day,” Abdul-Rahim said in a Sports Illustrated profile of the program. “It was something tangible for the kids to see themselves on stage in the next two, three or four years. It gave them something to look forward to, as opposed to looking for a championship that really doesn’t pay for school.”
Abdul-Rahim will be an asset to Saban’s staff on multiple levels.
As a respected coach with connections to numerous top prep stars, he can be a magnet to players that might be considering other schools. One of his players, defensive lineman Eddie Goldman was heavily recruited by Alabama, but signed with Florida State. Another was cornerback Jalen Tabor who enrolled at Florida after being pursued by the Crimson Tide.
In addition, Abdul-Rahim is from the same mold as Saban; a process-oriented coach with a long-term vision for his athlete’s success. Both coaches are committed to creating an environment in which players can succeed even after their college career ends.
The pairing of Saban’s program and Abdul-Rahim’s ethic look at first glance like a championship-caliber union.