Sports Outside the Beltway

Jimbo Fisher to Join Saban at Alabama?

Kevin Scarbinsky reports that Nick Saban will try to lure LSU offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher to take the same position with Alabama, although Fisher seems to be leaning toward rejoining Bobby Bowden at Florida State.

There is a lot of speculation about other positions on the staff, too:

Joe Kines would be a popular choice among Alabama fans to remain as defensive coordinator. Another potential assistant who could be hired to run Saban’s defense is Florida State linebackers coach Kevin Steele, one of Bowden’s top assistants.

Saban met briefly with the current Alabama assistants Wednesday, one of them said, and they expect to meet with the new head coach individually in the next two days to discuss staying in Tuscaloosa and working for him. One Alabama source said the current assistants with the best chance to join Saban’s staff are Kines, running backs coach Sparky Woods and secondary coach Chris Ball.

Someone representing Saban began calling potential assistants to measure their interest in coming to Tuscaloosa even before he accepted the Alabama job.

Other coaches who might become part of Saban’s Alabama staff, according to sources in college and pro football, include:

Bobby Williams, the Miami Dolphins running backs coach. Williams worked for Saban at Michigan State and succeeded him as the head coach there when Saban left for LSU.

Stacy Searels, the LSU offensive line coach. Searels played at Auburn, and he worked for Saban at LSU in 2003 and 2004.

Tracy Rocker, the Arkansas defensive line coach. Rocker also played at Auburn, and he’s been a college assistant in this state at Troy and West Alabama.

Todd Stroud, the former North Carolina State defensive line coach under recently fired head coach Chuck Amato. Stroud is a former head coach at West Alabama.

Lance Thompson, the defensive coordinator at Central Florida. Thompson worked at Alabama as an assistant under Mike DuBose and spent two years on Saban’s LSU staff.

Rick Trickett, offensive line coach at West Virginia, was considered a possible Saban hire but joined Bowden’s staff at Florida State late Wednesday.

A source close to Saban said last weekend that if he took the Alabama job, he would have a staff in place in 24 to 48 hours.

It shouldn’t be too hard for Saban to assemble a staff. Until the debacle at the Independence Bowl, retaining Kines was indeed the logical move; I’m less sure now. Plus, since Saban’s background is on that side of the ball, I’m not sure how well the two will mesh scheme-wise.

A Fisher hire would indeed be interesting, not only because of his success, but because of the intrigue surrounding his non-hire for the UAB job. The conspiracy theorists would certainly come out of the woodwork if he got hired in Tuscaloosa.

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