Paul Finebaum explains why Alabama's coaching hires are 'critical' at this point in Nick Saban's career
For the second year in a row, Alabama’s coaching staff will be almost completely different.
So far, the Tide have lost five on-field assistants to other programs — Mike Locksley (HC at Maryland), Dan Enos (OC at Miami), Josh Gattis (OC at Michigan), Brent Key (OL coach at Georgia Tech) and Tosh Lupoi (DL coach at Cleveland Browns). Locksley, Enos, Gattis and Lupoi served in their 2018 roles for just one season, and all of them are elite recruiters.
Following their departures, Nick Saban has reportedly hired Steve Sarkisian for his OC, former Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood for his OL coach, Mississippi State’s Charles Huff for his RBs coach and Tennessee’s Charles Kelly as his DBs coach. Butch Jones is also reportedly sticking around at Alabama, too. That’s three former Power 5 head coaches (Sarkisian, Flood and Jones), and Kelly is a former DC at FSU.
From 2017 to 2018, Saban retooled his staff to get younger and more aggressive on the recruiting trail. It worked, as the Tide will sign the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class in this cycle. Now, he’s retooling his staff somewhat differently, going with veteran coaches. While the 2019 staff may not be perceived as great on the recruiting trail, the on-field coaching and development will likely improve.
Paul Finebaum jumped on WJOX 94.5 Monday morning to discuss the Tide’s reported coaching hires.
“I think it’s really critical at this point in (Nick) Saban’s career (Alabama’s veteran coaching hires),” Finebaum said. “Before any of us say he totally blew it last year and it was a terrible decision (to have a younger staff), he did get what he wanted. He wanted to improve recruiting. That’s quite an accomplishment when you’re the best recruiter in college football history and reeled off eight or nine or 10 straight No. 1 classes and you don’t finish No. 1 and then, you decide to go out and retool.
“Did that cost him in the national championship game? It probably didn’t help.”
For Finebaum, though, only one question really remains with Saban’s new staff.
“Will this staff be able to do what other staffs have done — and that’s win another national championship? Ultimately, that’s how Alabama is defined right now,” Finebaum said. “It’s no longer defined by going 14-1 and finishing second in the country. It’s defined by the title.”
You can listen to Finebaum’s full segment on WJOX 94.5 below:
Paul @Finebuam joins the show for his weekly segment to talk CFB and much more thanks to @CraneWorls1987! https://t.co/B3yrteqjhG
— WJOX 94.5 FM (@WJOX945) January 21, 2019