Alabama and Nick Saban have to make a number of different staff changes this offseason. But it appears that they may have just made one of the hires of the offseason in the reported hiring of Craig Kuligowski to coach the defensive line. Bruce Feldman of Sports Illustrated first reported the news of Kuligowski’s hiring.
Kuligowski is arguably the top defensive line coach in the country given his time at Miami, were he spent the past two seasons, and Missouri, where he was a coach from 2001-15. Miami led the nation in sacks last season, and with Missouri he developed a number of great defensive linemen such as Shane Ray, Kony Ealy, Michael Sam, Markus Golden and Sheldon Richardson. And now he will be set to work with some of the top defensive linemen in the country, like Raekwon Davis and 5-star freshman Eyabi Anoma.
After news of the reported hire came out on Twitter, many came to praise the hire as Kuligowski is widely recgonized as one of the best in the business.
If u need a dline coach … I’d hire him in heartbeat https://t.co/NJ5DxDtoRs
— Booger (@ESPNBooger) February 20, 2018
Well that just isn’t fair https://t.co/lwtaPIPS08
— Travis Haney (@travhaney) February 20, 2018
Saban wins again. https://t.co/l7yPz3FmcW
— Patrick Brown (@pbrown247) February 20, 2018
— Cole Cubelic (@colecubelic) February 20, 2018
Bad for Mark Richt, good for Nick Saban, bad for the rest of the SEC. https://t.co/kNSBJ11sb1
— Seth Emerson (@SethWEmerson) February 20, 2018
Craig Kuligowski is arguably the best DL coach in the country. Huge loss for Miami.
Latest news on the Tracker: https://t.co/UshTelclpj
— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) February 20, 2018
Kuligowski would replace Karl Dunbar on the Alabama staff, as he left to take a job with the Pittsburgh Steelers after National Signing Day. He’s one of the many new assistants on the Alabama staff, specifically on the defensive side of the ball. Jeremy Pruitt left to become the coach at Tennessee, while defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley left to join the Oakland Raiders staff.
Tosh Lupoi, who was the outside linebackers coach last year, will be the defensive coordinator, while Karl Scott will coach the defensive backs. Alabama also added UTSA defensive coordinator Pete Golding to the staff as well. Alabama also had to replace offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, who left to become the offensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills. He was replaced by Mike Locksley and former Penn State wide receiver’s coach Josh Gattis was added to the staff.
Alabama won the national championship last season, defeating Georgia 26-23. The defensive line played a pivotal role in that game, as it pressured Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm for the majority of the night.
The Crimson Tide open the 2018 season against Louisville on Sept. 1. That game will be played in Orlando.