Alabama football breeds success and envy. At the end of every regular season, other schools chase Crimson Tide assistant coaches.
Every December means three things for Alabama football. Player awards will begin to flow. The Crimson Tide prepares for another CFB Playoff. Annual assistant coach attrition will impact the Tide, possibly in recruiting and in Playoff preparation.
For Alabama football, change is inevitable. Nick Saban builds more than teams. He builds (and rehabs) coaches for promotion opportunities. Every aspiring college football program with requisite resources wants a piece of what Nick builds.
Such frequent staff turnover is a tribute to Saban. He manages the transitions well, but cannot control all the short-term impact to the program. Recent rumblings indicate Nick will be busy managing staff turnover again this December.
Who leaves for a new opportunity?
- Mike Locksley is likely to be announced as the new head coach at Maryland. The decision is imminent.
Who is considering other opportunities?
- Pete Golding is being pursued for defensive coordinator positions at Oklahoma and Ole Miss.
- Dan Enos is being considered for the offensive coordinator position at Tennessee.
What may happen and the impact on Alabama football
- Locksley to Maryland could impact recruiting. He is the lead recruiter for two Tide 5-Star prospects, Trey Sanders and Evan Neal. Locksley might also attempt to hire Josh Gattis to be the offensive coordinator for the Terrapins. Locks might not remain on the Tide staff through the Playoff. There is also a rumor, Jalen Hurts might follow Locksley to Maryland.
- If Locksley leaves, Dan Enos would likely be promoted to the Tide OC instead of him joining Jeremy Pruitt at Tennessee.
- There is also a rumor if Golding leaves, he will take Tide defensive backs coach, Karl Scott with him.
- To further complicate the situation, former Crimson Tide assistants, Mel Tucker and Jim McElwain are expected to have new head coach gigs at Colorado and Central Michigan, respectively. Both of them understand the value of hiring Nick Saban assistants.
What is the biggest potential problem for the Crimson Tide?
Preparing for the Playoff amidst coaching turnover is not easy, but is manageable. The biggest threat in coaching turnover is the loss of current Tide commits and other top recruits. Combined Locksley and Gattis are the lead recruiters for nine of the Crimson Tide’s 22 verbal commits and more top prospects. Pete Golding is also an important recruiter for Nick Saban.
It is too early to know how much turnover will actually occur. Alabama football fans should remember Nick Saban always has a plan for everything.