Nick Saban is changing the game, adds new assistants

Posted by: Pete Roussel on Thursday February 28, 2013


Posted by: Pete Roussel on February 28, 2013

Nick Saban is ahead of the game.

Does that surprise you?

CoachingSearch.com has learned that Saban, in recent days, has hired several veteran coaches in perceived low level quality control, analyst, intern, grad assistant type of positions.

This morning, we reported on the Coaching Search Ticker that former Ashland University defensive backs coach Joe Palcic has joined the Alabama staff.

Get this.... Palcic actually recently accepted the special teams coordinator job at Miami (OH), his alma mater.  He decided, however, to resign in favor of joining Saban's staff at Alabama.

Palcic previously served as the co-defensive coordinator / defensive backs coach at Indiana from 2005 - 2010. He also coached at Miami (OH) from 1999 - 2004 in various roles such as co-defensive coordinator / corners coach, linebackers coach, special teams coach, and defensive backs coach.

Earlier this week, CoachingSearch.com learned that former Northwestern State tight ends / special teams coordinator / assistant head coach Brendan Farrell and former Jacksonville State offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Ronnie Letson had accepted quality control type of positions at Alabama. To put this in perspective, Letson is an experienced offensive coordinator who was once a grad assistant at Ole Miss a decade ago. In fact, I actually replaced Letson in the grad assistant position on David Cutcliffe's staff when Letson left Ole Miss.

Former Jacksonville Jaguars' coaching assistant Jake Peetz will also have a role on the staff.

While the compensation for these low level positions varies by college, it is believed that Billy Napier made roughly $25,000 during his stint as the Alabama offensive quality control assistant in 2011.

Thus, some of these veteran coaches will earn significantly less money than they are accustomed to earning in recent years.

Saban clearly is not approaching these positions as "entry level" or "low level" jobs.  He isn't bending any rules, either.  The NCAA does not currently have a limit on quality control type of staffers, although Mack Brown thinks it's coming. Last week, Brown said that Alabama is ahead of everyone with the number of staff personnel.  The only rule is that each FBS program can have 9 full-time assistants and 4 graduate assistants (2 offense / 2 defense).

The new recruiting rules that go into effect on August 1st allow these staffers to contact recruits. Thus, it's advantageous to hire coaches that have previous experience evaluating prospects and building relationships, though Saban presumably will closely define the recruiting roles for each of these staffers.

In the end, some of these coaches hope the decision to join Saban's staff will help advance their career like it did for Napier, who worked under Jim McElwain in 2011 and later followed McElwain to Colorado State as the quarterbacks / assistant head coach.

We all know that Kirby Smart and Doug Nussmeier will have head coaching opportunities down the line, so it's an opportunity to work for Saban, an invaluable opportunity, and develop relationships with coaches that will be in position to hire in the near future.

And we haven't even mentioned Kevin Steele, who joined the staff as director of player personnel.

Let's, however, not count out the fact that Saban did lose a number of young staffers in recent weeks. Here's a list of Alabama staffers that have accepted new opportunities this off-season:

Russ Callaway: Murray State (wide receivers)
Kelvin Sigler: Northern Illinois (defensive backs)
George Helow: Florida State (defensive grad assistant)
Kevin Garver: Arizona Cardinals (offensive assistant)
Jody Wright: Jacksonville State (tight ends / recruiting coordinator)
Kevin Sherrer: South Alabama (defensive coordinator)
John Wozniak: Southern Miss (inside receivers / special teams coordinator)

** Sherrer served as Alabama's director of player development.

Related article --  Video tour: Welcome to Bama and "the biggest, baddest weight room in the country."

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PeteRoussel2

Pete Roussel is a valuable resource for coaches, athletic directors, NFL front-office personnel, and college football enthusiasts. A former college football coach, Roussel shares insight on coaches 365 days a year and is recognized as the most trusted expert on coaching transactions. Follow @CoachingSearch on twitter and send your feedback to pete@coachingsearch.com



Pete Roussel is a valuable resource for coaches, athletic directors,
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NFL front-office personnel, and college football enthusiasts. A former college football coach, Roussel shares insight on coaches 365 days a year and is recognized as the most trusted expert on coaching transactions. Follow @CoachingSearch on twitter and send your feedback to pete@coachingsearch.comtest