Alabama Football: Coaching continuity is more important than a new DC

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

For the past few seasons, assistant coach turnover has been a problem for Alabama football. Nick Saban knows that needs to change.

Under arguably the greatest college football coach ever, Alabama football has been harmed by a lack of coaching continuity. There are several reasons why. We explore them below. Then we ask the question, should the current Tide defensive coordinator, Pete Golding, be retained.

When Alabama football fails to perform, Crimson Tide fans are ready to blame the failure on the Tide staff. Not Nick Saban, of course, but any position coach or coordinator whose unit or side of the ball performs below a championship standard. No matter how much fans demand, Nick Saban demands more.

A problem for Nick Saban is so many other head coaches want for their staff, guys Nick has trained. Athletic Directors and school Presidents hope to prosper with Nick’s system by turning Saban assistants into head coaches. These circumstances create more turnover than is experienced by most other top programs.

There is another factor, some also consider a problem. It is not easy to work for Nick Saban. His pursuit of perfection is unrelenting. Nick has mellowed some in recent years. He might exercise a bit more patience than a younger, more-frequently fiery version of himself. But he is still a guy who can outwork anyone om his staff. Not many coaches can handle Nick’s expectations year after year. All the reasons above explain why Nick Saban struggles to have continuity on his staff.

Every Saban assistant is brought in to run Nick’s established system. This has led to the illusion position coaches, even coordinators are just ‘plug’ and ‘play’ – they are not. An essential staff attribute is put in jeopardy every time an assistant goes elsewhere or is fired. Note: Saban prefers to handle most firings by helping place a coach into another opportunity.

That attribute is trust. Trust established and maintained over time with recruits drives great signing classes. Trust established and maintained with current players builds championship performance.

Alabama football fans blame Pete Golding for the Tide’s defensive weaknesses this season. Perhaps, the position of DC for the Crimson Tide is too much for Golding. There is no debate the Tide’s defense was not up to Alabama football standards. But it was not Pete Golding’s system. Every Tide DC runs the Nick Saban system of defense. Perhaps Golding is not a good defensive play-caller. How different would the Tide defense have been with Dylan Moses, quarterbacking the defense? Better, at least and perhaps much better.

Next. A few juniors returning would give Tide Championship roster. dark

Nick Saban needs to better his staff turnover rate. Staff continuity is important enough, Pete Golding should be retained. What the young DC can do with a more experienced and more talented roster has not been defined.