June 22, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Some Alabama players saw the signs of Nick Saban’s impending departure from college football long before his January retirement announcement.

Others were every bit as surprised as the general public.

Still, the Crimson Tide players attending this week’s NFL annual scouting combine shared one sentiment: Without Saban’s mentorship, they might not be here — preparing for a pro career.

Alabama Football: The 50 Greatest Players in Crimson Tide ...

“It kind of hurt a lot of people’s hearts,” linebacker Dallas Turner said when asked about his reaction to the decision. “A lot of people think you can coach college football forever, but you really can’t. I feel like he opened up a lot of opportunities, touched a lot of hearts and touched a lot of minds, the players he’s coached.”

Kalen DeBoer’s 2024 staff is finalized. Alabama football announced the hirings of three on-field coaches on Friday, all of which had been previously reported.

Chris Kapilovic will coach the offensive line, after Scott Huff, who had initially taken the job, followed Ryan Grubb to the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks. Christian Robinson will take over outside linebackers, while Bryan Ellis will coach tight ends.

“We were able to also secure three of the finest coaches in the nation to finish out our staff with the hiring of Bryan Ellis, Chris Kapilovic and Christian Robinson,” DeBoer said in a press release. “Chris is one of the most respected offensive line coaches in the game with a reputation for recruiting and developing his players. Christian does an outstanding job of building relationships on both the recruiting trail and in his position room, where he gets the absolute best of his players. Ellis is one of the best offensive minds in college football and is a perfect fit for our staff.”

Kapilovic was briefly coaching offensive line at Baylor before coming to Alabama, a job he took after spending the past four seasons at Michigan State. His other coaching stops include Colorado, North Carolina and Southern Miss.Robinson also came from Baylor, where he coached inside linebackers for the 2023 season. He previously coached linebackers at Auburn and Florida.

Ellis was working as offensive coordinator at Georgia Southern under Clay Helton for the past two seasons. He joined the Eagles after serving two stints in various positions, including offensive coordinator, at Western Kentucky.

In between his stops in Bowling Green, Ellis worked at Southern Cal for two seasons, coaching quarterbacks.

The Crimson Tide begins spring football on Monday. The annual A-Day spring game is scheduled for April 13 at Bryant-Denny

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *