This option is a Paul “Bear” Bryant situation for the Alabama Crimson Tide program. If mama calls to come home, will Dabo Swinney come home to Alabama? Coach Swinney born and raised in Pelham, Alabama played wide receiver for the Crimson Tide under Gene Stallings. Dabo then spent a few seasons as the wide receivers coach at Alabama in the early 2000s. He then ended up as the wide receivers coach at Clemson before taking over as head coach in 2008. As the head coach he has a record of 136-31, he’s won two National Championships, six ACC Championships, eight ACC Atlantic Division titles, and three Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards. Dabo and the Tigers have been very successful as Clemson is 10-6 in bowl games as well as 6-3 in the College Football Playoffs. The Alabama Crimson Tide will surely call up Coach Swinney when Coach Saban steps away one day. The choice will be Dabo’s whether he chooses to come home to Alabama or stay with what he’s built at Clemson.
Honorable Mentions: Kirby Smart, Jeremy Pruitt, and Lincoln Riley
A few coaches I have that are honorable mentions for the Alabama Crimson Tide are Kirby Smart, Jeremy Pruitt, and Lincoln Riley. While both the head coach for Georgia, Kirby Smart, and Tennessee’s head coach, Jeremy Pruitt, are both from Alabama, I feel they both won’t be the head coach at Alabama whenever Saban retires. Kirby is at his alma mater and the Bulldogs fan base loves him.
Pruitt has burned some bridges at Alabama. Recently, he stated 13 in a row meant nothing. He bragged in the 2020 game, the Vols would shut Alabama down and shut up the Tide fan base. Tough talk for a coach that eventually ended up losing to the Crimson Tide 48-17. I personally don’t think Alabama fans want him back and I don’t think he wants to come back.
As for Lincoln Riley, he’s in a great spot at Oklahoma and I feel he won’t leave for any other college position. As for the Alabama Crimson Tide, I see them filling Nick Saban’s position with one of the first five coaches mentioned rather than Kirby Smart, Jeremy Pruitt, or Lincoln Riley.
Whenever the day comes to replace head coach Nick Saban, I think he’ll have some say so in his successor. The Tide won’t be short of options, but for many potential head coaches, the shoes will be too enormous to fill.