Over the weekend, Alabama ended their coordinators search with the hirings of Tommy Rees and Kevin Steele.
The hunt is over.
After several weeks of speculating and dissecting who Alabama's next offensive and defensive coordinators were going to be by media and fans alike, both positions were finally filled this weekend with the hirings of Tommy Rees and Kevin Steele.
It was an interesting journey to arrive at Rees and Steele as neither were really mentioned as candidates early on but emerged later in the process. One is an up-and-coming offensive mind who is only 30 years old while the other is a grizzled veteran who will turn 65 in March.
Despite the difference in experience, however, both hirings point towards Nick Saban wanting to get back to some of the fundamentals and culture that built the Alabama dynasty.
Tommy Rees was a quarterback at the University of Notre Dame from 2010 to 2013 meaning he was still playing college football less than a decade ago. He almost immediately started coaching out of college and became Notre Dame's offensive coordinator in 2020.
Rees had tremendous success coaching the Fighting Irish as he helped guide them to the College Football Playoff in his first year as offensive coordinator and played a big role in turning around their season in 2022 under first-year head coach Marcus Freeman.
The team averaged 31.8 points per game this past year along with accumulating almost 2,500 yards on the ground. In their bowl game against South Carolina, the Notre Dame offense scored 45 points to beat the Gamecocks by a touchdown.
Rees seems to prioritize the run game, something that many people think Alabama has been lacking over the last several years but was once known for. Expect a shift in focus under Rees with a renewed dedication to the running game for the Crimson Tide.
Unlike Rees, Kevin Steele has been coaching college football for a long time and has been a staple in the SEC. He was Nick Saban's first defensive coordinator at Alabama and this will be his third stint working for him in Tuscaloosa. Steele was also Auburn's defensive coordinator from 2016 to 2020. He has extensive experience working in Alabama and is only a couple of years away from being fully vested in the state's retirement system.
Once again, Nick Saban may be hoping that Steele will help Alabama get back to the basics and reclaim some of the physicality and dominance that the Crimson Tide defense has become synonymous with.
To this point, the new hires have been met with mixed reviews with neither Rees or Steele having been original candidates as previously mentioned. With the No. 1 recruiting class coming to Tuscaloosa though, both will have a wealth of talent to coach and prove they were the right men for the job.
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