Saban fills final staff vacancy

The LSU football coaching staff is once again whole after Nick Saban hired a new defensive backs coach. Tim Walton, 31, joins the Tigers after spending last year at Syracuse.<br><br>The addition of Walton allows Saban to shuffle the responsibilities of his assistants following the departure of two and the reassignment of another from the 2002 staff.

Walton, a 1994 Ohio State graduate and native of Grenada, Miss., spent exactly a year at Syracuse, joining the Orangemen in February 2002. Before Syracuse, he was an assistant coach at the University of Memphis for two years.

In 2000 at Memphis, Walton helped the Tigers' defense rank fifth nationally. He coached two first-team All-Conference USA selections in Idrees Bashir and Michael Stone, who were both 2001 NFL draft selections.

In 2001, the Memphis secondary finished the season ranked second in interceptions in Conference USA.

Walton replaces Charlie Harbison as LSU's defensive backs coach. Saban moved Harbison to an administrative role with the program in order to be able to spend more time with his family. 

"Tim has proven to be an outstanding defensive backs coach and we're excited to have him join our staff," Saban said in a release from LSU. "We thought as a staff that it was important to hire a coach for the defensive side of the football and Tim gives us someone that has had a great deal of success both coaching and playing in the defensive backfield."

Walton started his college coaching career at Bowling Green in 1995 as a defensive graduate assistant. He was promoted to running backs coach in 1996 and moved to coach the defensive backs in 1999.

In addition to his college coaching experience, Walton served two internships in the NFL. He was a defensive intern for the Chicago Bears in 1998 and held the same title with the Green Bay Packers in 2001.

Walton started as a defensive back at Ohio State for two seasons and was a co-captain on the 1993 team that was Big Ten co-Champions. He joined the Atlanta Falcons as a free agent in 1994 but did not earn a spot on the roster.

Walton's family includes his wife, Tracy, and their three children, Trei, Timia and Tyler.

With Walton on board, Saban announced that Lance Thompson, a defensive line coach last season, has been named assistant head coach and will serve as LSU's tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator.

Derek Dooley, a member of the original Saban LSU staff who had been recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach, will coach LSU's running backs and serve as special teams coordinator. He takes over those duties from Michael Haywood, who left the Tigers to take a job with the Texas Longhorns.


"The flexibility of Lance and Derek make this move possible," Saban said. "Lance coached tight ends and served as a recruiting coordinator before at Georgia Tech so he's been in this position before. Derek is an outstanding young coach who has been instrumental in organizing our recruiting efforts for the last three years. His organizational skills as well as his knowledge for the game make his move to coaching running backs and special teams a good fit for us."


The other staff move Saban made was to hire a new offensive line coach, Stacy Searles. He replaces George Yarno, who left after two years at LSU to join the Washington State staff.

Tiger Blitz Top Stories