Skip to main content

Nick Saban Reacts To Assistant Coach’s Departure

Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban.

TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA - NOVEMBER 09: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide walks on the field prior to the game against the LSU Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 09, 2019 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Nick Saban's Alabama football unexpectedly lost a staff member on Wednesday. Jay Graham, the team's tight ends coach and special teams coordinator, announced that he'd be stepping away from the program, citing the need to seek help for issues relating to his mental health.

“I am taking time away from football to seek professional help immediately, gain a better understanding of my mental health and spend time with loved ones," Graham said. "I hope to rebalance my life so that I am able to return to my passion of coaching and helping student-athletes pursue their dreams.”

During his Wednesday press conference, Nick Saban said that the team hopes to support Graham however it can, and adjust on the fly. It certainly isn't an easy adjustment to make, but if any program is equipped, it is Alabama.

“Jay made a decision to do what he did, and we’re gonna support him every way that we can," Saban said of Jay Graham. “We certainly wish him and his family the very best.”

The news comes as Alabama football is just a few days into spring practice. The annual A-Day spring game is coming up on April 17. “Obviously our plan is to improvise and adjust,” Nick Saban continued. “I think we have other people that can help us coach special teams. Todd Watson, who was an assistant intern doing special teams, we just activated him to do it for now, and we’ll start a search and see if we can find the best coach. "There’s no timetable for doing that. We wanna really try to get the best person we can get. It’s not an ideal time, lots of people in spring practice, so we’ll just have to see how it goes and how that process ends up. We just started that a little bit today.” We wish Jay Graham the best as he works on his mental health, something that is vitally important, especially right now. [

Watch Coach Saban’s Spring Practice Press Conference. https://t.co/1TG9Tfg13e

— Alabama Athletics (@UA_Athletics) March 24, 2021

">Alabama Athletics]