No stranger to Alabama, Rader was an assistant coach for the Tide from 1983-85, working with both receivers and quarterbacks. During his tenure Shula was an Alabama quarterback. Rader was Shula's position coach for two of his three seasons in Tuscaloosa, but left before Shula's senior year to become offensive coordinator at Mississippi State. The two remained in contact ever since.
"I have worked with Dave and followed his coaching career," Shula said. "He is an excellent coach and will bring a wealth of coaching experience to this position. I'm excited to have Dave as part of our staff."
Rader replaces Eric Price in the position of offensive coordinator and Aaron Price as quarterbacks coach. The sons of recently dismissed Tide head coach Mike Price, Eric and Aaron Price joined the Alabama staff when their father was hired. The University announced Monday that Eric and Aaron Price had been reassigned to administrative duties.
As the youngest head coach in the SEC, it was no surprise that Mike Shula would look for a veteran coach to coordinate his offense. "Mike and I talked this week as he was in the process of putting together a staff," Rader said. "It is exciting to return to Tuscaloosa. My wife and I have fond memories of our first stop here and we look forward to returning to this community. I would like to publicly thank Coach Shula for bringing us back."
Rader was head coach at Tulsa from 1988-99 where he posted a 49-80-1 mark in 11 full seasons and part of a 12th. He was replaced seven games into the 1999 season. During his tenure Rader guided the Golden Hurricane to the Independence Bowl in 1989 and the Freedom Bowl in 1991. Rader coached more games (130) than any other coach in Tulsa football history.
During his tenure at Tulsa Rader tutored NFL-bound quarterbacks Gus Frerotte and T.J. Rubley.
After his experience coaching his alma mater, Rader took a step back from football, working at various business opportunities while keeping a hand in as a Tulsa-area broadcaster. But the opportunity to coach at Alabama and help Shula rebuild the program was too good to pass up. "I told myself that if I got back into coaching, it would have to be as a coordinator," Rader told a Tulsa website recently. "And I wanted a chance to win it all."
Rader's best season as a head coach came in 1991. That team was ranked 21st nationally and he was selected as Region 4 Coach of the Year and a finalist for National Coach of the Year. While head coach at Tulsa, he produced four All-Americas, three first-team Academic All-Americans and 11 NFL draft picks.
Rader began his coaching career at Alabama, as one of the first coaches hired by Ray Perkins in 1983. The two had been together with the New York Giants when Perkins was head coach and Rader a quarterback. While Rader coached at Alabama, the Tide went 22-12-1 and played in the Sun and Aloha Bowls.
Rader then moved to Mississippi State under Rockey Felker where he spent one season as offensive coordinator.
He moved to Tulsa, his alma mater, in 1987 as assistant head coach in charge of quarterbacks under then head coach George Henshaw. A year later Rader was appointed head coach and spent the next 12 seasons at Tulsa.
For the next four years, Rader worked in private business in Tulsa. He had opportunities to return to football, but instead chose to work at Pinnacle Business Systems in Tulsa and as a broadcaster. He also conducted summer football camps.
Born in Wichita, Kansas, Rader graduated from Rogers High School in Tulsa, where he was a football and baseball standout. He played collegiately at Tulsa and was the Golden Hurricane starting quarterback in 1977 and 1978. He threw for 2,674 career yards and guided Tulsa to a 9-2 record in 1978, passing for 1,683 yards and 14 TDs.
He was drafted in the eleventh round of the NFL draft by the San Diego Chargers but was later picked-up by the Giants.
A board member of the FCA, Big Brothers & Sisters and Heritage Family Services, Rader has served on the American Football Coaches Association's Football Issues and Ethics committees.
Rader earned his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Tulsa in 1980. He and his wife Janet, have three children, sons Daniel and Jordan and daughter Kendal.
The Rader File, as a player:
- 1975-1978, Tulsa
- 1979, San Diego Chargers
- 1979-1982, New York Giants
The Rader File, as a coach:
- 1983-1985, Alabama, Receivers
- 1986, Mississippi State, Offensive Coordinator
- 1987, Tulsa, Assistant Head Coach and Quarterbacks
- 1988-1999, Tulsa, Head Coach
- 2003-present, Alabama, Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks
EDITOR'S NOTE: The majority of this report was compiled by Larry White, Alabama's Associate Athletics Director for Media Relations. However, significant portions were garnered from several other sources.