A former Alabama player and two-time program assistant is returning to the Crimson Tide. Nick Saban has confirmed the hire of Freddie Roach.
Roach comes over from Ole Miss, which has obviously had its own major staff shakeup. Former Saban offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin is now the Rebels head coach. The two already had an interesting back-and-forth about their thoughts about social media and text uses in recruiting this week. Bad blood is probably too strong a term for that relationship, but Kiffin clearly loves to poke at the legendary coach.
Freddie Roach played at Alabama from 2002-05, and has never strayed super far from his alma mater. The former All-SEC player joined the program as assistant strength coach from 2008-10. He moved on to take an on-field coaching job with junior college power East Mississippi Community College, and then took over as defensive line coach at Murray State in 2012.
In 2013, Roach took over coaching defensive ends and outside linebackers at South Alabama, and returned to the Crimson Tide as director of player development from 2015-17. He coached under Matt Luke at Ole Miss for three seasons, but will now get his first chance as a position coach at Alabama. From 247Sports:
“We are pleased and happy to have Freddie Roach return to our staff at The University of Alabama,” Saban said in a statement. “Freddie did a fantastic job at Ole Miss the last three years coaching their defensive line and we are excited to welcome him back to Tuscaloosa. Freddie played here and has been a part of our staff on a couple of occasions. He brings a tremendous understanding of what we do on defense, how we run our program while proving to an outstanding recruiter.”
Roach is pretty excited about the opportunity, as you can imagine:
“It is hard to even put into words how exciting it is to come back to The University of Alabama,” Roach said in a statement. “This is a fantastic opportunity to return home and work for Coach Saban and my alma mater. I have a great deal of respect for Coach and his accomplishments as well as the rich history of Alabama football. I also understand the high expectations of both Coach Saban and the program. I am looking forward to helping continue that history of success.”
He replaces former defensive line coach Brian Baker, who departed for the same position with the Indianapolis Colts.