Nick Saban has some work to do to fill out his Alabama football staff.
The Crimson Tide head coach knew he’d be losing Mike Locksley to the Maryland, where he is now head coach.
The program’s two other most important offensive assistants are also on their way out now.
Josh Gattis, Alabama’s co-offensive coordinator with Locksley, is moving up to Michigan to be the Wolverines OC under Jim Harbaugh.
Dan Enos, who was expected to be the next Alabama offensive coordinator, will instead serve in the same role at Miami.
Earlier it was reported that Steve Sarkisian is discussing a return to Alabama to be the team’s offensive coordinator, a position he previously filled during the 2017 national championship game against Clemson. He was set to continue on in that role, but instead left to take the same job with the Atlanta Falcons.
Alabama fans don’t seem thrilled with the notion of bringing back Steve Sarkisian, but per a new report, Nick Saban is talking with a pair of other notable offensive coaches.
AL.com reports that Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chip Long was on campus today, and that Butch Jones, the Alabama analyst and former Tennessee head coach, could return to the team in an expanded capacity.
It is unclear if they’re in competition with Sark to become OC, or if these moves could be in conjunction with that hire.
From the report:
Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chip Long was also in Tuscaloosa today, according to sources. It looks like he could join the staff in some capacity even if/when Sarkisian is hired as offensive coordinator.
While it has been reported elsewhere that Butch Jones was set to join Mike Locksley’s staff at Maryland, sources have said that Jones is still currently working for Alabama. AL.com previously reported that while there was a good chance Jones could end up at Maryland, it was still possible Jones could end up staying at Alabama if he was promoted to an on-field job.
Long did a very nice job turning Notre Dame into a College Football Playoff-caliber offense with the move to Ian Book at quarterback a few weeks into the season.
Jones obviously didn’t work out at UT, but he’s a strong recruiter who knows the league, and one would imagine Saban believes he can be an asset on staff if he gives him a promotion like this.
Whomever it comes down to, Alabama has a number of spots to fill, and Saban is gunning for a return to the top of the sport.