Nick Saban comments on the hire of Alabama cornerbacks coach Jay Valai
After the latest round of offseason coaching shuffling in Tuscaloosa, Nick Saban once again has a completed coaching staff.
Saban is no stranger to rebuilding his assistant coaching staff as the Crimson Tide pretty much undergo massive coaching turnover after each national championship captured by the program.
That’s the way it goes when others attempt to copy the success of Saban’s program but that tends to play in Alabama’s favor when it comes to attracting new coaches to join the dynasty in Tuscaloosa.
Following assistant coach Karl Scott’s departure for the NFL, Saban turned around and hired Jay Valai, who was recently named an assistant defensive backs coach with the Philadelphia Eagles. Valai spent last season coaching cornerbacks for Texas.
“We are pleased and happy to be able to add Jay Valai to our staff to coach cornerbacks,” Saban said in a released statement. “Jay is an excellent young coach who possesses outstanding knowledge and enthusiasm for the game. He is a really good teacher and an outstanding recruiter who works tirelessly at his craft. We are excited to welcome Jay and his family to Tuscaloosa.”
Alabama’s new cornerbacks coach does come to Tuscaloosa with some knowledge of the team’s defense as Valai previously worked for Kirby Smart at Georgia.
Following his hire at Alabama, Valai offered up a statement.
“Words can’t express how excited I am to have the opportunity to coach cornerbacks in the SEC at Alabama,” Valai said. “The decision to leave the Philadelphia Eagles was one of the hardest choices I’ve ever made, but the chance to work for Coach Saban who is one of the all-time great head coaches and defensive minds is truly a special opportunity. I’m looking forward to calling Tuscaloosa home and putting in work with some of the best defensive backs in the nation.”
Alabama’s 2021 assistant coaching staff
- Bill O’Brien – Offensive coordinator *
- Pete Golding – Defensive coordinator/Inside linebackers
- Jay Graham – Special teams coordinator/Tight ends *
- Holmon Wiggins – Receivers
- Sal Sunseri – Outside linebackers
- Doug Marrone – Offensive line *
- Freddie Roach – Defensive line
- Robert Gillespie – Running backs *
- Charles Kelly – Safeties
- Jay Valai – Cornerbacks*
* heading into first year with Saban’s Alabama program