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Former Alabama Player Reportedly Lands Head Coaching Job

A detailed view of Alabama Crimson Tide helmets in a pile during the celebration after the CFP National Championship.

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: A detailed view of Alabama Crimson Tide helmets in a pile during the celebration after the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. Alabama won 26-23. (Photo by

Yesterday there were three remaining head coaching vacancies in FBS college football. Today, there are only two after one was filled by a former Alabama star.

According to ESPN college football insider Pete Thamel, Lance Taylor has been hired as head coach of Western Michigan after serving as offensive coordinator at Louisville this past year. Taylor has been a rising star in the coaching ranks over the past 15 years.

Per the report, it is a five-year contract for Taylor. He replaces Tim Lester, who was fired at the end of the 2022 season following a 37-32 record over six seasons.

Taylor played wide receiver at Alabama from 1999 to 2003, joining as a walk-on and eventually becoming special teams captain under Mike Shula. But it was Nick Saban who gave him his first coaching gig, hiring him as a graduate assistant in 2007.

After working under Nick Saban in his early years at Alabama, Lance Taylor spent the next few in the NFL. He was a quality control coach and tight ends assistant for the New York Jets from 2011 to 2013, a wide receivers coach with the Carolina Panthers from 2013 to 2014 and a running backs coach at Stanford from 2014 to 2017.

Taylor returned to the NFL in 2017 as the Panthers' wide receivers coach, then went back to college in 2019 to serve as Brian Kelly's running backs coach.

This past year in Louisville was Taylor's first as a full offensive coordinator. The Cardinals averaged 27.2 points per game - 76th out of 131 teams - with their most impressive win coming in a 48-21 blowout win over No. 10 Wake Forest en route to a 7-5 finish.

Was Lance Taylor a good choice for Western Michigan?