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Nick Saban’s coaching staff is full of (losing) head coaching experience

Kevin Steele AP

Nick Saban is one of the best head coaches in college football. Perhaps his assistant staff is looking to take notes on what makes a successful head coach.

On Wednesday Alabama officially hired Kevin Steele to be the linebackers coach for the Crimson Tide. Steele had previously served on Saban’s staff as a director of player personnel in 2013. Prior to that Steele had served as an assistant for two years under Saban in 2007 and 2008 before moving to Clemson to be the defensive coordinator for three seasons. Steele is also a former head coach at Baylor.

As noted by, Saban’s staff now has four former head coaches on the staff. In addition to Steele, Alabama’s caching staff includes former USC and Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin, former FIU head coach Mario Cristobal, and former Michigan State head coach Bobby Williams. The four Alabama assistants have a combined head coaching record of 87-91. Only Kiffin managed a winning record at the college level.

Under some circumstances you might think that Alabama is prepared to slide an assistant right in to the role of head coach if Saban happened to ever leave Tuscaloosa for whatever reason. Kiffin coaching Alabama? Forget about it. Cristobal may not be as far-fetched as you might think, but until Saban steps aside or leaves for another job it is all rather pointless to consider.

One thing is for sure, Saban’s staff is bringing plenty of experience to the sidelines.

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13 Responses to “Nick Saban’s coaching staff is full of (losing) head coaching experience”
  1. Deb says: Feb 12, 2014 8:30 PM

    Recalling the odyssey of the post-Bear years, where the only warm memory is Gene Stallings, I don’t want to think about the post-Nick era until it’s here. The only likely candidate on staff is Kirby Smart. But if our luck holds, the position will be filled by its current occupant for the foreseeable future.

    As an aside, after having to stare at that maniacal-looking face, I’ll never complain about the hopping-mad little Nick you guys usually post with Bama stories.

  2. dmvtransplant says: Feb 12, 2014 9:21 PM

    @ Deb

    Are you really going to holding a missed PAT in the Orange Bowl against Mike DuBose?

  3. djshnooks says: Feb 12, 2014 9:43 PM

    It’s plain and simple, and anyone who follows football or has half a brain knows…

    Some coaches are better coordinators than they are head coaches…at all levels.

    It’s obvious in the NFL…and it should be quite obvious in college ball, as well.

  4. Deb says: Feb 12, 2014 10:09 PM

    @dmvtransplant …

    No. I’m going to hold all the money the university had to pay his mistress against Mike DuBose.

  5. suprdok says: Feb 12, 2014 10:53 PM

    Saban would never hire anyone he thought is as good as he! His Napoleonic complex would never allow that!

  6. rolltide510 says: Feb 12, 2014 11:42 PM

    Coaches as good as Nick Saban wouldn’t be interviewing for jobs working for Nick Saban.

  7. normtide says: Feb 12, 2014 11:49 PM

    Dmv- I’ll never forget that game. I still blame that missed pat on the y2k bug.

    I have to think Saban knows how to do his job. Not only were these guys former HC’s, but they are known as great recruiters. I think that they were hired for that reason. Also, Smart would be the only guy on that staff that would get the HC job. But, I would expect Bama to throw a ton of money at the best coach they can find first.

  8. oldforester says: Feb 13, 2014 3:43 AM

    Just don’t know about Kiffin. What was his result in Oakland. Result in Tennessee. Result at USC. Can he adapt to being asked to be an ego-less assistant after being top dog? Respect Alabama and Saban, but no one makes all perfect choices, no one. If this works out, we can call Saban a genius for certain. And for certain, it will give us something to watch. History does have a way of repeating itself. Quote to remember: “The more you think you know, the more close minded you will be”.

  9. suprmous says: Feb 13, 2014 3:57 AM

    The last of the Holy Terror 3 recently had this to say re the entire thing goin on up in T-town: “You can’t blame a team for what a coach does because it’s as good as how it’s coached, Sis but I can tell you this the politics of what goes on within the coach’s office will reflect on what happens within the Season, what goes on on the field, within the ranks of his Staff, the fans and their attitudes towards him as a leader, and more notably the University”. Soooo I guess time will tell for how you folks there at Bama will see how things go, huh?

  10. deadeye says: Feb 13, 2014 10:11 AM

    Saban would never hire anyone he thought is as good as he! His Napoleonic complex would never allow that!


    I don’t dispute the notion that Saban has a Napoleonic complex, but just who do you think is as good as Saban?

  11. pawloosa says: Feb 13, 2014 10:59 AM

    Saban would make a good hand model

  12. globeflyer says: Feb 13, 2014 12:34 PM

    Anyone who knows anything about College football in general, and Nick Saban (specifically) knows that, for better or worse, HE runs the show wherever he is coaching. When an assistant hires on with Saban they know the rules. Those that can hack it usually make a nice salary (more than most) and learn from an accomplished coach. Those who can’t seem to find “other opportunities” elsewhere. Don’t think that those rules will change now that Lane Kiffin is on the staff.

  13. fatediesel says: Feb 13, 2014 1:03 PM

    Cristobal got screwed by the AD at Florida International. He took over the worst job in FBS football and turned the program around, helping lead them to consecutive bowl victories, and stuck with them despite a lot of interest from larger programs. Then the program had one bad season and the AD canned him, thinking he could bring in a big name like Butch Davis (this is the same AD who previously hired Isiah Thomas in basketball), but ultimately bringing in a retread in Ron Turner who led the team to a 1-11 record this season.

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