The Alabama Football assistant coaches’ door swung open this week. After a recent exit by defensive backs coach Jay Valai to Oklahoma, the door was used for entry. Reportedly, though not yet formally announced, two assistants have joined Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide staff.
One is a former Auburn football player, whose potential hiring, as we discussed a week ago, might not sit well with some Alabama fans. Instead of backlash, social media and message boards have been filled with anticipation of adding Travaris Robinson. Robinson is a well-respected coach with close ties to Will Muschamp. He has also earned a reputation as a top recruiter. Mario Cristobal would have held on to him in Miami, but the lure of reconnecting with Muschamp at Georgia or joining the greatest college football program of all time was too strong for Robinson. Fortunately, he made the right choice of relocating to Tuscaloosa, rather than Athens.
The latest addition to the Crimson Tide staff comes from Ole Miss. He also has connections to Will Muschamp. Coleman Hutzler was coaching special teams and linebackers for Lane Kiffin. His exact role in Tuscaloosa is not yet known. The Crimson Tide has a combined tight ends and special teams coach in Drew Svoboda, who joined Nick Saban’s staff 10 months ago.
There has been no credible indication of Swoboda leaving the Crimson Tide staff. If he stays for the 2022 season, another Tide assistant will either have to leave or transition to an off-field role.
There have been rumors that Tide assistant, Sal Sunseri might be interested in making an off-field move. Current and past players have close bonds with Sunseri. No one will want him lost to the Alabama Football program by going elsewhere.
UPDATED: Alabama football insiders now saying Sunseri will remain with the program in an off-field role. Hutzler will coach special teams and linebackers and Swoboda will continue to coach tight ends.
A couple of days ago, I discussed it is looking more likely Bill O’Brien will return as Offensive Coordinator for the 2022 season. Not every Crimson Tide fan will be pleased, but more Alabama fans dislike even more the possibility of Doug Marrone staying attached to O’Brien in Tuscaloosa. The Tide’s 2021 offensive line did not perform to championship standards. Rightly or wrongly, many fans blame Marrone.
Nick Saban and Alabama Football Attrition
Two things can be assured in this offseason’s staff rebuild. One is, unlike other programs and coaches, Nick Saban can absorb a high amount of turnover without negative effects to the Crimson Tide. The other is no timetable can be predicted. Saban will adjust as needed whenever he sees fit.
Nick Saban may be the college game’s only coach for whom staff attrition has little impact. The norm is for changes to make the Crimson Tide staff better.
In other SEC, coaching news, Derek Mason is reported to be leaving the Auburn Tigers for the same position at Oklahoma State. The old saying of rats deserting a sinking ship comes to mind.