Coaching Staff Changes

B1GTide

TideFans Legend
Apr 13, 2012
37,149
23,289
187
Scary thought for everyone else: Bama is even money vs. the field, i.e. every other team in Division 1, when it comes to national championships over the last 12 years.
Crazy when you put it like that.
 

buckeyeFB_

Bamanation Citizen
Jun 24, 2019
66
242
52
This is the definitive answer to the changing staff discussions.
Truly impressive.

This article made me think of a question I'd like to ask all of you here on TideFans: Are there any hires/promotions during Saban's time at Alabama that are widely considered to be poor decisions or failures amongst your fanbase? Some will always be better than others, but are there any that were just flat-out not up to par?

It just seems to me like Saban's staff management has always been at least good enough to avoid any major drop-offs from one year to the next.

I also ask partly because something I'll always remember about Urban Meyer's time at OSU was his hit-or-miss track record when it came to hiring/replacing staff members.
 

81usaf92

Hall of Fame
Apr 26, 2008
20,266
11,744
187
South Alabama
Truly impressive.

This article made me think of a question I'd like to ask all of you here on TideFans: Are there any hires/promotions during Saban's time at Alabama that are widely considered to be poor decisions or failures amongst your fanbase? Some will always be better than others, but are there any that were just flat-out not up to par?

It just seems to me like Saban's staff management has always been at least good enough to avoid any major drop-offs from one year to the next.

I also ask partly because something I'll always remember about Urban Meyer's time at OSU was his hit-or-miss track record when it came to hiring/replacing staff members.
The promotion of Locksley and Lupoi are probably the closest you are going to get. They are the only two coordinators besides Applewhite and Steele that didn’t win a championship. But Locksley is a better OC than Nuss. Lupoi maybe is the worst DC out of the 5 we have had under Saban.
 

NoNC4Tubs

Hall of Fame
Nov 13, 2010
5,600
725
137
Truly impressive.

This article made me think of a question I'd like to ask all of you here on TideFans: Are there any hires/promotions during Saban's time at Alabama that are widely considered to be poor decisions or failures amongst your fanbase? Some will always be better than others, but are there any that were just flat-out not up to par?

It just seems to me like Saban's staff management has always been at least good enough to avoid any major drop-offs from one year to the next.

I also ask partly because something I'll always remember about Urban Meyer's time at OSU was his hit-or-miss track record when it came to hiring/replacing staff members.
Major Applewhite... :cool:
 

GrayTide

Hall of Fame
Nov 15, 2005
17,459
2,974
187
Greenbow, Alabama
New analyst hire.
 

4Q Basket Case

FB|BB Moderator
Nov 8, 2004
6,367
3,628
237
Tuscaloosa
Major Applewhite... :cool:
Brent Key was the OL coach for a few years. During that time, we recruited well, but the OL under-performed its talent.

I wouldn't call him a failure, but it was clear he was "encouraged" to look elsewhere.

Same thing with OC Doug Nussmeier. Not really a case of failure. But more one of under-achievement given the talent he had to work with, and a lack of evolution to match the game.

Bo Davis was a first-rate DL coach until he ran afoul of the NCAA limitations on contacting recruits. As with so many things in life, what he did wasn't really all that bad, and probably would have resulted in a slap on the wrist. Except.....then he lied to both Saban and the NCAA to cover it up. Which was incredibly stupid because evidence was right there on his University computer and phone.

To his credit, he owned it, blamed nobody but himself, and expressed what I believe is sincere regret.

Seems to have landed on his feet, as he's now the DL coach under Sark at UTw, after some time in the pros.
 
Last edited:

buckeyeFB_

Bamanation Citizen
Jun 24, 2019
66
242
52
The promotion of Locksley and Lupoi are probably the closest you are going to get. They are the only two coordinators besides Applewhite and Steele that didn’t win a championship. But Locksley is a better OC than Nuss. Lupoi maybe is the worst DC out of the 5 we have had under Saban.
Major Applewhite... :cool:
Brent Key was the OL coach for a few years. During that time, we recruited well, but the OL under-performed its talent.

I wouldn't call him a failure, but it was clear he was "encouraged" to look elsewhere.

Same thing with OC Doug Nussmeier. Not really a case of failure. But more one of under-achievement given the talent he had to work with, and a lack of evolution to match the game.

Bo Davis was a first-rate DL coach until he ran afoul of the NCAA limitations on contacting recruits. As with so many things in life, what he did wasn't really all that bad, and probably would have resulted in a slap on the wrist. Except.....then he lied to both Saban and the NCAA to cover it up. Which was incredibly stupid because evidence was right there on his University computer and phone.

To his credit, he owned it, blamed nobody but himself, and expressed what I believe is sincere regret.

Seems to have landed on his feet, as he's now the DL coach under Sark at UTw, after some time in the pros.
Thanks for the responses.

It's definitely crazy to think that these names are the closest you'll get to "poor" hires during Saban's time. I honestly feel like Applewhite would be a solid OC hire now in 2021, but it was definitely a little early for him to be OC at Alabama in 2007 -- I guess that just means Saban saw something in him early on, if anything.
 

crimsonaudio

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 9, 2002
49,135
17,383
362
crimsonaudio.net
It's definitely crazy to think that these names are the closest you'll get to "poor" hires during Saban's time. I honestly feel like Applewhite would be a solid OC hire now in 2021, but it was definitely a little early for him to be OC at Alabama in 2007 -- I guess that just means Saban saw something in him early on, if anything.
Saban is pretty good at evaluating and developing talent. Pretty, pretty, pretty good...
 

TIDE-HSV

Senior Administrator
Staff member
Oct 13, 1999
74,563
18,385
437
Huntsville, AL,USA
Thanks for the responses.

It's definitely crazy to think that these names are the closest you'll get to "poor" hires during Saban's time. I honestly feel like Applewhite would be a solid OC hire now in 2021, but it was definitely a little early for him to be OC at Alabama in 2007 -- I guess that just means Saban saw something in him early on, if anything.
I think he did. However, he was named co-offensive coordinator, in reality, with Joe Pendry, who carried the title of "Assistant Head Coach - Offense." At the end of the 2007 season, Applewhite demanded the entire responsibility and tendered his resignation, conditionally. It was accepted. Everyone wanted Major to succeed. He was the son of Bama grads and was named after a beloved RB of the 1970s, Major Ogilvie...
 

81usaf92

Hall of Fame
Apr 26, 2008
20,266
11,744
187
South Alabama
Thanks for the responses.

It's definitely crazy to think that these names are the closest you'll get to "poor" hires during Saban's time. I honestly feel like Applewhite would be a solid OC hire now in 2021, but it was definitely a little early for him to be OC at Alabama in 2007 -- I guess that just means Saban saw something in him early on, if anything.
I tend to exclude Applewhite from the bad hire categories mostly because he was young and he was dealing with Shula players. His other jobs were Texas and Houston. He did okay at Houston until Tillman Ferritta wanted to stick it to Lane Kiffin and hire Applewhite as HC instead. Applewhite has more gotten jobs he really probably wasn’t prepared for, but apparently a lot of people see some promise in him.

As for the worst OC IMO it is Nuss. In 2012 we were lucky not to have 3 losses because of that ding bat. We were far and away the best team in the country but we got in needless dog fights because he couldn’t help himself. LSU everyone remembers AJ to TJ, but no one recalls AJ being totally ineffective while Eddie was totally gashing them. aTm everyone probably remembers Johnny more but Nuss called a horrible game and made a Pete Carroll SB 49 call at the end. Georgia was just as bad as LSU. UGA could not stop the run all day but we spent the entire 1st half passing for some odd reason. Then the 2013 Auburn game is squarely on him. Yes blame Cade Foster all you want but he wasn’t the genius trying to run TJ Yeldon up the middle with a stacked box why AJ and Cooper are having the day of their lives.
 

Keeter

All-American
Feb 4, 2018
4,952
1,981
187
Marietta, GA
I tend to exclude Applewhite from the bad hire categories mostly because he was young and he was dealing with Shula players. His other jobs were Texas and Houston. He did okay at Houston until Tillman Ferritta wanted to stick it to Lane Kiffin and hire Applewhite as HC instead. Applewhite has more gotten jobs he really probably wasn’t prepared for, but apparently a lot of people see some promise in him.

As for the worst OC IMO it is Nuss. In 2012 we were lucky not to have 3 losses because of that ding bat. We were far and away the best team in the country but we got in needless dog fights because he couldn’t help himself. LSU everyone remembers AJ to TJ, but no one recalls AJ being totally ineffective while Eddie was totally gashing them. aTm everyone probably remembers Johnny more but Nuss called a horrible game and made a Pete Carroll SB 49 call at the end. Georgia was just as bad as LSU. UGA could not stop the run all day but we spent the entire 1st half passing for some odd reason. Then the 2013 Auburn game is squarely on him. Yes blame Cade Foster all you want but he wasn’t the genius trying to run TJ Yeldon up the middle with a stacked box why AJ and Cooper are having the day of their lives.
Is Nuss even coaching now?
 

4Q Basket Case

FB|BB Moderator
Nov 8, 2004
6,367
3,628
237
Tuscaloosa
From 2015/16-2021 Saban lost 30 coaches and hasn't missed a beat. LOL! RTR!!!


View attachment 15268
Sometimes, I’m a bit slow. Took me a few to figure out that if you think of the NC seasons as the right-hand number in the Off-season column, the number of coaching changes shows in the right-hand column.

So the NC years correspond to relatively low turnover in the previous offseason:

2009 - 2
2011 - 3
2012 - 2
2015 - 2
2017 - 3
2020 - 1

The amount of assistant coaching turnover that Saban has overcome, all the while maintaining excellence on the field, is an incredible accomplishment.

There’s also no denying that the very best results happen in seasons following the lowest off-season coaching turnover.

Obviously, a lot of other data points figure in as well. But numbers is numbers, and they don’t have a rooting interest.
 

BhamToTexas

Bamanation Citizen
Dec 25, 2020
89
93
27
Sometimes, I’m a bit slow. Took me a few to figure out that if you think of the NC seasons as the right-hand number in the Off-season column, the number of coaching changes shows in the right-hand column.

So the NC years correspond to relatively low turnover in the previous offseason:

2009 - 2
2011 - 3
2012 - 2
2015 - 2
2017 - 3
2020 - 1

The amount of assistant coaching turnover that Saban has overcome, all the while maintaining excellence on the field, is an incredible accomplishment.

There’s also no denying that the very best results happen in seasons following the lowest off-season coaching turnover.

Obviously, a lot of other data points figure in as well. But numbers is numbers, and they don’t have a rooting interest.
I agree. The numbers don't lie. A few observations:
  • It was 2-3 changes per year for the first decade and we won it all half the time and fell short half the time.
  • The years that stick out there were 9 and 8 changes, coupled with a slew of injuries, even our QB, and we certainly fell short.
  • Are these large turnover numbers for two consecutive years tied at all to us reinventing the way we play the game?
  • The fewest changes was 1 and we ended up with our most dominant team.
  • This year will be interesting as it is the 3rd highest turnover rate.
 
Last edited:

GrayTide

Hall of Fame
Nov 15, 2005
17,459
2,974
187
Greenbow, Alabama
Lupoi was a great recruiter, but was a bad promotion to DC. On the offensive side, I would have to say that Locksley and Nuss would be tied for worst promotion and/or hire. Is Lance Thompson still in coaching?