Construction on Nick Saban’s 2016 coaching staff took a surprising turn on Tuesday evening, when Alabama announced tight ends coach and special teams coordinator Bobby Williams will be moving to an off-field position.
The longtime Saban assistant — and former head coach at Michigan State — will remain at the school this autumn as “special assistant to the head coach.”
It’s the third staff shake-up to occur since National Signing Day. Saban poached Kentucky co-defensive coordinator Derrick Ansley to be his defensive backs coach two weeks ago, and just added Brent Key as his new offensive line coach over the weekend. As part of the Key acquisition, former offensive line coach Mario Cristobal took control of the offensive tackles and tight ends.
Williams has been an important part of the Crimson Tide’s recruiting process; he helped reel in 5-star cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick in 2009 and landed 4-star quarterback Jake Fromm this past year.
“My relationship with Bobby goes back a long time,” Saban said in a press release. “Bobby has been a key piece of our staff as we worked to build this program to compete at a national championship level. Even though he won’t be on the field coaching, he will be vital to our success in this role as special assistant to the head coach.”
After spending 1990-2002 at Michigan State — including five seasons under Saban and three seasons as the head coach — he served as the Detroit Lions’ wide receivers coach in 2003 and then met up with Saban again at LSU.
From there, he followed Saban to the Miami Dolphins (2005-2006) and the Crimson Tide (2007-present).
Rivals.com’s Aaron Suttles first reported the news.