Before anyone disagrees vehemently with our latest ‘All-SEC coaching staff’ concoction, understand that quality assistants are so widespread in this league, there isn’t a wrong answer to this hypothetical question.

You can make a case for just about everyone depending on your offensive and defensive philosophical preference. Selecting a ‘Dream Team’ from the SEC’s current crop of coaches should be fun. That’s what we have tried to convey.

The only rule for selecting our All-SEC staff? We’re not building for the future. It’s time to win now.

(Pardon me if our list of coaches slants toward the West Division. And to get creative with this, we’re centering our staff around an Air Raid offensive attack and 4-3 base defense.)

Nick Saban, Alabama (head coach) — A master at his craft and one of college football’s all-time greats, Saban is a no-brainer to lead our cast of all-stars. He can handle egos (Lane Kiffin), knows how to win big games and is rarely out-coached from an Xs and Os standpoint. Give me one season with elite personnel and this staff? Saban will get it done.


Jake Spavital, Texas A&M (offensive coordinator) — I’m in love with Kevin Sumlin’s Air Raid philosophy because it works, but head coaches are excluded here. Spavital, Sumlin’s right-hand man, is the next-best thing as one of college football’s up-and-comers in College Station. He’s been able to sign the nation’s top pro-style and dual-threat quarterbacks each of the last two seasons, an obvious grand slam on the recruiting trail. His coaching style is also player-friendly. Lane Kiffin is a close second.

Frank Wilson, LSU (running backs) — Wilson churns them out — NFL ballcarriers, I mean. Since taking over as a primary offensive assistant in 2010, Wilson has instructed six future pro draft picks at the position. His guys can usually block and catch, qualities we’re looking for in our preferred no-huddle scheme.

Dameyune Craig, Auburn (wide receivers/tight ends) — Here’s a guy who could handle spot duty as co-offensive coordinator and provide our pass-centric offense with a touch of Gus Malzahn’s counter philosophy. An ace recruiter, Craig was responsible for landing Jameis Winston at Florida State and has helped bring several current playmakers to the Plains.

Sam Pittman, Arkansas (offensive line) — Georgia’s Rob Sale and Shawn Elliott at South Carolina would be excellent choices, but stay with me here. Pittman has a proven track record of getting players he has coached to the next level — eight draft picks since 2013. While his run-based blocking scheme wouldn’t exactly fit the offense since Spav’s our play-caller, Pittman would make it work. Good news is his unit gave up a league-low 14 sacks last season and kept Brandon Allen protected.


Will Muschamp, Auburn (defensive coordinator) — Saban would probably ask for Kirby Smart here, as he should based on his assistant’s success on that side of the football. But we want an attacking unit that forces the issue and causes mistakes by the opposition. Coach Boom would be the perfect complement to Saban’s ‘Process.’ He’s a perfectionist much like his four-time national champion (hypothetical) boss.

Craig Kuligowski, Mizzou (defensive line) — Is there a more underrated coach in the SEC? Kuligowski has been Gary Pinkel’s defensive line coach for the past 15 years and has coached consecutive SEC Defensive Player of the Year winners off the edge. He’s an expert developer of talent and would create quite the 1-2 punch alongside Muschamp. Kuligowski is worth at least double the $299,500 salary he brought in last season at Mizzou.

Manny Diaz, Mississippi State (linebackers) — We’re cheating here a bit with Diaz, but technically, he does have “linebackers coach” attached to his title as Mississippi State’s DC. For three years under Mack Brown at Texas, Diaz was known for possessing physical linebackers against the run and guys who could get out and cover when asked. Last season at Louisiana Tech, Diaz’s unit was ranked No. 1 in C-USA against the run.

Corey Raymond, LSU (secondary) — John Chavis receives most of the credit propelling LSU to its well-deserved ‘DBU’ moniker, but Raymond has been along for the ride since 2012. He directed the nation’s third-best unit against the pass last season and gets nearly all of that talent back this fall. By teaching his defensive backs to read and react, the Tigers are often in position to make plays.

*On special teams, we’ll roll with Alabama’s Bobby Williams at Saban’s request. He’ll let punter JK Scott handle most of the heavy lifting.