Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: The Georgia Bulldogs are adding a former Alabama assistant to their coaching staff. Kirby Smart has added yet another former Nick Saban staffer to his ranks as he tries to dethrone his ex-boss.
According to The Augusta Chronicle, Georgia is hiring Dan O’Brien to his staff as a in a quality control role on defense. O’Brien has spent the last five years as a safeties coach under Ken Niumatalolo at Navy.
O’Brien previously worked at Alabama under Saban and Smart from 2007 to 2010. During that time, he also became acquainted with current Georgia co-defensive coordinator Glenn Schumann.
The son of former Boston College and N.C. State head coach Tom O’Brien previous described what it was like to work under Smart at Alabama:
“I was basically Kirby Smart’s shadow for four years,” Dan O’Brien told the Capital Gazette in Annapolis in 2016. “Kirby gave me a lot of responsibility, which was daunting at times. I learned from my mistakes and figured things out.”
The 37-year-old O’Brien has ties to one of the NFL’s top coaching staffs as well, having worked as a scouting assistant for Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots before joining the Crimson Tide.
While O’Brien is several years removed from working under Saban, his hire marks yet another case of an SEC powerhouse scooping up people who worked for the Alabama legend.
Georgia has lost back-to-back games to Alabama on the biggest stage – the CFP National Championship Game and the SEC Championship Game.
But few teams have had any luck knocking Alabama off the SEC mountain. Could this be the year that Georgia claims dominance?