TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (BVM) – Since Nick Saban took over as head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide, he has had eight different offensive coordinators. In 2023, there will be a ninth.
Recently, Bill O’Brien announced that he was leaving to become the new offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots. It’s O’Brien’s second stint in New England, as he was also the team’s offensive coordinator in 2011.
Bill O’Brien returns to New England.
1-on-1 with the new OC. pic.twitter.com/d3dgB2Xvqq
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) January 27, 2023
Meanwhile, the move leaves the Crimson Tide with a vacancy at the position once again, as they will now search for their fifth offensive coordinator in the past seven seasons. Prior to O’Brien, Steve Sarkisian held the position before taking the head-coaching job at Texas. Before that, a couple of familiar names in Mike Locksley and Brian Daboll each spent a year in Tuscaloosa, while current Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin coordinated the Crimson Tide offense from 2014-16. Earlier in Saban’s tenure, the likes of Doug Nussmeier, Jim McElwain and Major Applewhite all served as offensive coordinators.
The names who have spent time in the offensive booth at Alabama in the past are certainly recognizable, and it’s possible Saban will look to make a splash hire at the position once again.
Nick Saban’s last five OCs at @AlabamaFTBL are all either NFL head coaches/offensive coordinators or Power 5 head coaches in college — O’Brien (Patriots OC), Sarkisian (Texas HC), Locksley (Maryland HC), Daboll (Giants HC) and Kiffin (Ole Miss HC).
— Chris Low (@ClowESPN) January 24, 2023
This year’s hire seems pivotal, as Alabama will transition from Bryce Young to a new quarterback, which could be anyone out of a young, inexperienced group that includes Eli Holstein, Jalen Milroe or Ty Simpson.
Alabama is coming off a season in which they were ranked No. 11 in total offense, with both of the Crimson Tide’s passing and rushing attacks ranking inside the top 30 in all of college football. Over the past few years of Saban’s tenure at Alabama, the offense has opened up and become one of the most lethal in the game, something they will look to keep going into 2023. Here’s a look at the top five offensive coordinator options for the Crimson Tide.