Alabama Coach Nick Saban’s announcement that Tosh Lupoi would be coaching outside linebackers was generally greeted with optimism by Crimson Tide followers. There are many testimonials from coaches as to Lupoi's expertise. But what do players think about Lupoi, who came to Bama with a reputation as outstanding both as a recruiter and coach?
As it happens, one of Lupoi’s former players was in Mobile last week for the Senior Bowl. Hau'oli Kikaha was an All-America linebacker at Washington, from whence Lupoi came to Bama. It made sense to talk to Kikaha in the event the expected came true.
Kikaha’s bottom line: “Great coach!”
He said Lupoi “is very passionate and a technical perfectionist. He does everything in his power to master his craft. Great coach."
As for Lupoi’s coaching style, Kikaha said, “The one thing I admired about him was how consistent he was with his coaching.
“Everyday he would stress to find a new mistake to make. ‘Don't make the same one over and over.’ If you are making the same mistake over and over, he would tell you everyday what you are doing wrong and how to fix it in as many different ways as he had to. It got done. Usually guys would find another mistake to make and correct what was being done.
“We really improved as a defensive front those two seasons that he coached us."
Kikaha said that Lupoi “holds back a lot as far as emotion. You could tell he is full of fire when he is standing there but he doesn't get all in your face and do some of the things that other coaches might such as just blow up. He'll hold on to you and say let's get this next one. We will talk about it in the film room. Always focus on the task. Just analyze the game from a player's perspective which is really good because he could sympathize with where we are at especially since he is so young and had not been out of school for very long."