Nick Saban overhauled his coaching staff, and the 2019 class is already proving it was a great move
First, let’s make one thing clear. When it comes to revamping a coaching staff, Alabama coach Nick Saban often doesn’t have many options.
That’s because teams from around the country and even in the NFL poach some of his top assistants, forcing him to reload his staff on the fly in order to stay competitive.
However, this year, he has done something a bit different than in years past. Recently, he’s been bringing in big-name guys who have failed elsewhere and giving them chances to rebuild their image — Lane Kiffin, Steve Sarkisian and Butch Jones, just to name a few.
After losing OC Brian Daboll to the Buffalo Bills and DC Jeremy Pruitt to the Tennessee Volunteers, Saban promoted from within, moving Mike Locksley to OC and Tosh Lupoi to DC. Those moves are already paying off.
Lupoi has long been highly regarded as a recruiter, and after finishing with the No. 6 class during the 2018 cycle, Saban and Lupoi have been hitting the ground running with the 2019 class.
As of Sunday morning, the Tide had the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, per 247Sports, and have already secured an incredible 20 commitments.
Of course, Saban isn’t all about promoting from within. In fact, one of his biggest hires this offseason was new DL coach Craig Kuligowski, who turned the Missouri Tigers into D-Line U and spent the last two seasons at Miami. Add in new QB coach Dan Enos and Saban still has plenty of top assistants from around the country flocking to Tuscaloosa to join his staff.
Saban could have taken it easy this offseason, knowing he had a ton of talent returning from the team that won the title last year, but he didn’t. As people continue to speculate about just how long Saban will coach, he’s proving he still has the fire to put in the long hours recruiting.
Alabama will continue to be the class of the SEC (and the country) until Saban retires or another team steps up to challenge him. Georgia, Texas A&M, Clemson, Miami, Ohio State and other programs are certainly strong, but this offseason has proven that Saban and the Crimson Tide are still No. 1 until proven otherwise.
If Alabama continues to succeed at a high level, Saban will have to replenish his coaching staff again, but he’s shown he can push the right buttons.