The Alabama football program takes hits all the time. Whether it’s player or coaching turnover, the Crimson Tide deals with it almost every single year. It seems like it’s a lot more drastic this year, though.
On Saturday, it was revealed by Bruce Feldman with The Athletic that associate head coach Charles Huff was leaving Tuscaloosa. He is set to become the new head coach for the Marshall Thundering Herd.
This is yet another significant loss for the Crimson Tide, as Huff was the nation’s No. 1 recruiter.
BREAKING: #Marshall is expected to hire #Alabama associate HC Charles Huff as the Thundering Herd’s new head coach, per sources. The 37-year-old MD native was ranked as the nation’s No. 1 recruiter in 2020, according to 247Sports.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) January 16, 2021
It isn’t just the loss of Huff, though.
Alabama has been taking some several hits with its coaching staff ever since offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian agreed to take over the Texas program. Just look at the list of coaches departing from Tuscaloosa.
- Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian (Texas HC)
- Offensive line coach Kyle Flood (Texas OL)
- Special teams coordinator/tight end coach Jeff Banks (Texas ST/TE)
- Associate head coach/running backs coach Charles Huff (Marshall HC)
- Assistant to the head coach Butch Jones (Arkansas State HC)
- Defensive analyst Charlie Strong (Jacksonville Jaguars LB)
- Offensive analyst Major Applewhite (South Alabama OC)
- Offensive analyst Rob Ezell (South Alabama TE)
- Offensive analyst A.J. Milwee (Arkansas State OC)
There is also a possibility that Charles Kelly, Karl Scott or Mike Stoops could head to Missouri. Defensive coordinator Pete Golding has been linked to Texas, and wide receivers coach Holman Wiggins could leave as well.
That isn’t your typical coaching turnover. That’s almost an entirely new staff. In addition, there are significant losses on the offensive side of the football for Alabama.
- QB: Mac Jones
- RB: Najee Harris
- WR: DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle
- OL: Alex Leatherwood, Deonte Brown, Landon Dickerson
All seven of those guys should hear their names called on Day 1 or 2 of the upcoming NFL draft in April. Three of the top five Heisman finalists are gone, and that can’t be overlooked.
If any team is prepared to withstand those kind of losses to the coaching staff and roster, it is obviously Alabama. The Tide has been through similar before, but it feels like things have gone to a new level following Nick Saban’s sixth national title with the school.
Don’t expect a LSU post-2019 type of drop off, but also don’t be surprised if there are some growing pains early next season. It will take some time to break in an entirely new offense and coaching staff. But at least the defense is returning most of its key starters from 2020.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.