Becoming a head coach, especially in the NFL, is a very tedious task. One former Alabama football player has accomplished that task.
Freddie Kitchens has been named the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns. Kitchens previously served as running backs coach, associate head coach, and offensive coordinator of the Browns. The former Alabama football QB will now face the fierce talent of the NFL in his first ever leading position.
Kitchens will join the likes of Bear Bryant, Mike Shula and Bill Curry – just to name a few – as former Crimson Tide players who went on to serve as head coaches. Kitchens was born and raised in Gadsden, Alabama, which is about an hour northeast of Legion Field. After an impressive high school career at Etowah High, he was invited to play for the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Under Gene Stallings and Mike DuBose, Freddie threw for over 4,600 passing yards and a total of 30 touchdowns. During his time as starting QB for Alabama football he appeared in three bowl games, and helped lead the Tide to victory over Ohio State, Michigan, and North Carolina.
Kitchens departed Alabama and began his coaching career in 1999 at Glenville State. It wasn’t until a year later, in 2000, that things started going north for him. Coach Saban hired Kitchens as a graduate assistant at LSU. After one year under Saban, Kitchens landed a positions coaching job at North Texas.
There are no former Alabama football players on the current Cleveland Browns roster, but Kitchens will be in good company, nonetheless. Oklahoma Sooners legend, Baker Mayfield, whom SEC fans are quite familiar with, will help Kitchens secure a solid offensive start next season.
The majority of Kitchens’ NFL knowledge comes from Bruce Arians. Believe it or not, Arians also has ties to Alabama. The former Arizona Cardinals head coach, and soon to be Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach, learned quite a lot from the Crimson Tide. Arians served as a position coach under Bear Bryant and offensive coordinator under Mike DuBose.
It is always a wonderful thing to see an Alabama native go far beyond expectations. Kitchens has always been an extraordinary football person, on and off the field. We wish the former Alabama football QB all the success in the world. Congratulations, Freddie.
Check out what Bama Hammer contributor, Kevin Mudd, had to say about Alabama’s lopsided performance against Dabo and the Clemson Tigers. He said it best, sometimes you jest get whooped. But, don’t worry Tide fans, we are as strong as ever and will be back for round five!