Stuart McNair

Under Nick Saban, Tide has averaged about two assistant coaching changes per year

Nick Saban is having to fill three offensive coaching positions for 2017 season

Alabama Coach Nick Saban is in the news almost daily as he reassembles his coaching staff following the departures of men who were at three offensive positions for the Crimson Tide in 2016. This is not a new situation for Saban.
It is understandable that a college team looking to upgrade its coaching staff would look first to the most successful program in college football, and that has been the case  with Saban losing top men, usually to better positions, upgrading to coordinator or head coaching jobs.
Not including some off-the-field personnel — analysts and player development men — this off-season Saban has been looking for men to replace Mario Cristobal, who was tackles and tight ends coach in 2016 and who is now co-offensive coordinator at Oregon; Billy Napier, who was wide receivers coach and is now offensive coordinator at Arizona State; and the quarterbacks and offensive coordinator coaches who served last season, Lane Kiffin through the first 15 games before going to Florida Atlantic University as head coach, and Steve Sarkisian who was tapped to replace Kiffin and coached only in the national championship game before leaving for the same position with the Atlanta Falcons.
One of the openings was filled by Mike Locksley moving up from an analyst position to an offensive assistant with duties yet to be disclosed. Unconfirmed reports have Brian Daboll coming from the New England Patriots to be quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator and former Tide Football Operations Director Joe Pannunzio returning from the Philadelphia Eagles, where he was an administrator, to coach tight ends and special teams at Alabama.
There is also the possibility the NCAA will allow a 10th assistant coach to be added prior to either the 2017 or 2018 season.
Positives for filling coaching vacancies include Saban knowing top coaches and also coaches being interested in coaching under Saban and for Alabama to add that line to their resumés.
After assembling his first staff of nine assistant coaches for the 2007 season, Saban will have had to replace 21 coaches prior to the next nine seasons, an average of just over two per year. Add three (four counting both Tiffin and Sarkisian) for the 2017 season.
There have also been occasions when a coach was moved to another position (Kirby Smart went back and forth between safeties and inside linebackers, for instance). An interesting aspect of Saban coaching hires has been bringing back men who coached under him and then left — Jeremy Pruitt is a current example.
One position that has not had a change is cornerbacks coach. Saban handles that.
Here are Alabama’s coaching staffs and their replacements in the Saban Era:
2007
 Quarterbacks/Offensive Coordinator — Major Applewhite
Inside Linebackers/Defensive Coordinator — Kevin Steele
Running Backs — Burton Burns
Offensive Line — Joe Pendry
Wide Receivers — Curt Cignetti
Tight Ends/Special Teams — Ron Middleton
Defensive Line — Bo Davis
Outside Linebackers — Lance Thompson
Safeties — Kirby Smart
2008
 Quarterbacks/Offensive Coordinator — Jim McElwain (replaced Major Applewhite)
Inside Linebackers/Defensive Coordinator — Kevin Steele
Running Backs — Burton Burns
Offensive Line — Joe Pendry
Wide Receivers — Curt Cignetti
Tight Ends/Special Teams — Bobby Williams (replaced Ron Middleton)
Defensive Line — Bo Davis
Outside Linebackers — Lance Thompson
Safeties — Kirby Smart
2009
 Quarterbacks/Offensive Coordinator — Jim McElwain
Inside Linebackers — Sal Sunseri (replaced Kevin Steele)
Running Backs — Burton Burns
Offensive Line — Joe Pendry
Wide Receivers — Curt Cygnet
Tight Ends/Special Teams — Bobby Williams
Defensive Line — Bo Davis
Outside Linebackers — James Willis (replaced Lance Thompson)
Safeties/Defensive Coordinator — Kirby Smart (replaced Steele as defensive coordinator)
2010
 Quarterbacks/Offensive Coordinator — Jim McElwain
Outside Linebackers — Sal Sunseri
Running Backs — Burton Burns
Offensive Line — Joe Penury
Wide Receivers — Curt Cignetti
Tight Ends/Special Teams — Bobby Williams
Defensive Line — Bo Davis
Safeties — Jeremy Pruitt (replaced James Willis, but coaching safeties)
Outside Linebackers/Defensive Coordinator — Kirby Smart (moved to inside linebackers)
2011
 Quarterbacks/Offensive Coordinator — Jim McElwain
Outside Linebackers — Sal Sensor
Running Backs — Burton Burns
Offensive Line — Jeff Stoutland (replaced Joe Pendry)
Wide Receivers — Mike Groh (replaced Curt Cignetti)
Tight Ends/Special Teams — Bobby Williams
Defensive Line — Chris Rumph (replaced Bo Davis)
Safeties — Jeremy Pruitt
Inside Linebackers/Defensive Coordinator — Kirby Smart
2012
 Quarterbacks/Offensive Coordinator — Doug Nussmeier (replaced Jim McElwain)
Outside Linebackers — Lance Thompson (replaced Sal Sunseri)
Running Backs — Burton Burns
Offensive Line — Jeff Stoutland
Wide Receivers — Mike Groh
Tight Ends/Special Teams — Bobby Williams
Defensive Line — Chris Rumph
Safeties — Jeremy Pruitt
Inside Linebackers/Defensive Coordinator — Kirby Smart
2013
 Quarterbacks/Offensive Coordinator — Doug Nussmeier
Outside Linebackers — Lance Thompson
Running Backs — Burton Burns
Offensive Line — Mario Cristobal (replaced Jeff Stoutland)
Wide Receivers — Billy Napier (replaced Mike Groh)
Tight Ends/Special Teams — Bobby Williams
Defensive Line — Chris Rump
Safeties — Greg Brown (replaced Jeremy Pruitt)
Inside Linebackers/Defensive Coordinator — Kirby Smart
2014
 Quarterbacks/Offensive Coordinator — Lane Kiffin (replaced Doug Nussmeier)
Outside Linebackers — Lance Thompson
Running Backs — Burton Burns
Offensive Line — Mario Cristobal
Wide Receivers — Billy Napier
Tight Ends/Special Teams — Bobby Williams
Defensive Line — Bo Davis (replaced Chris Rumph)
Inside Linebackers — Kevin Steele (replaced safeties coach Greg Brown)
Safeties/Defensive Coordinator — Kirby Smart (moved from inside linebackers to safeties)
2015
 Quarterbacks/Offensive Coordinator — Lane Tiffin
Outside Linebackers — Tosh Lupoi (replaced Lance Thompson)
Running Backs — Burton Burns
Offensive Line — Mario Cristobal
Wide Receivers — Billy Napier
Tight Ends/Special Teams — Bobby Williams
Defensive Line — Bo Davis
Safeties — Mel Tucker (replaced Kevin Steele, but coaching safeties)
Inside Linebackers/Defensive Coordinator — Kirby Smart (moved from safeties to inside linebackers)
2016
 Quarterbacks/Offensive Coordinator — Lane Kiffin (replaced by Steve Sarkisian for final game)
Outside Linebackers — Tosh Lupoi
Running Backs/Special Teams — Burton Burns (added special teams)
Offensive Line — Mario Cristobal (coaching tackles and tight ends)
Wide Receivers — Billy Napier
Offensive Line — Brent Key (coaching guards and centers, replaced Bobby Williams)
Defensive Line — Karl Dunbar (replaced Bo Davis)
Safeties — Derrick Ansley (replaced Mel Tucker)
Inside Linebackers/Defensive Coordinator — Jeremy Pruitt (replaced Kirby Smart)


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