Karl Dunbar said good bye to Nick Saban and hello to Mike Tomlin.
On Thursday afternoon, the Steelers announced they have hired the Alabama defensive line coach to serve in the same role in Pittsburgh.
Dunbar was drafted by the Steelers out of LSU in the 1990 NFL draft, making this a homecoming of sorts for the former Crimson Tide assistant.
“It’s awesome to be back,” Dunbar via the release. “This team drafted me out of college. Just to be back and the nostalgia of Pittsburgh, the mystic of Pittsburgh, the workman’s mentality. Hopefully I can bring that to the team.
“Having the relationship with Mike and some of the coaches on the staff. Knowing Coach Mitchell, who was a coach at LSU when I played. A lot of things he did, I do. I will lean on him to help me get to know the guys in the defensive line room and hopefully make it a great transition.”
Dunbar arrived in Tuscaloosa for the 2016 season after a stint with the Buffalo Bills. He also has previous stops with the New York Jets, Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears on his NFL resume, which dates back to 2004. He also spent 2005 as the defensive line coach at LSU.
Jonathan Allen, Da’Shawn Hand and Da’Ron Payne are just some of the star players who were under the tutelage of Dunbar during his two-year stint with the Crimson Tide.
Replacing Dunbar will be the latest challenge in what has been a difficult offseason for Nick Saban in the assistant coach department. Saban lost offensive coordinator Brian Daboll to the NFL after one season and replaced him with Mike Locksley. He also lost defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt to the Tennessee Vols head coaching gig, replacing him with Tosh Lupoi.
There has not yet been an indication that Saban has a new coach in place for the defensive line at Alabama.