The Alabama football program has experienced a lot of turnover this offseason. With both coordinators — as well as several other assistant coaches — gone, coach Nick Saban has had his hands full trying to replace all the departures.
It looks like he may have more work to do. According to a report from AL.com’s Matt Zenitz, Saban’s longtime employee and friend Joe Pendry is leaving the Alabama program to retire.
Nick Saban’s longtime right-hand man Joe Pendry, who has been a special adviser for Alabama the past several years, is retiring, per sources https://t.co/LdyqE0qFKP
— Matt Zenitz (@mzenitz) June 5, 2018
It’s a tough blow to the Tide’s football program. After serving as the team’s offensive line coach since Saban took over in 2007, Pendry decided to move into an off-the-field role prior to the 2011 season. That role was labeled as a special adviser and NFL liaison for the Crimson Tide.
Former Alabama player and SEC Country host and analyst Mike Johnson reflected on what Pendry meant to the program.
Joe Pendry is the greatest coach I’ve ever known. His players always knew what was expected of them. There was no gray area. And when you screwed up, “you bet your sweet ass” he could point out exactly what you did wrong. He will be extremely hard to replace. Huge loss for Bama.
— Mike Johnson (@MPJohnson79) June 5, 2018
Zenitz described Pendry as Saban’s “right-hand man” — a worthy description for the longtime coach.
Both Saban and the rest of the Alabama program owe a lot to Pendry and what he brought to the table for the better part of a decade.