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Alabama Football Adds Another Assistant

Nick Saban has been a busy little bee this week.

NCAA Football: Louisville at Florida State
Former Florida State defensive coordinator Charles Kelly.
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama is expected to hire Tennessee Vols Special Teams Coordinator/Safeties Coach Charles Kelly. He spent one season with Jeremy Pruitt where his salary was $325,000. His previous job was defensive coordinator under Jimbo Fisher at Florida State from 2014–2017 and ST/LB coach on the 2013 National Championship team.

Kelly, 51, is a native of Ozark, Alabama and - don’t hold it against him - played defensive back at Auburn under former Tiger coach Pat Dye. He has some high school coaching experience, five years at Jacksonville State and four at Nichols State before being hired by Chan Gailey at Georgia Tech. Gailey was dismissed after 2007 and his successor Paul Johnson kept Kelly on through 2012. After a 2-4 (1-3 ACC) start by the Yellow Jackets in 2012, Johnson fired his defensive coordinator and promoted Kelly to the position as interim DC. Tech showed vast improvement winning four of their next five and took the ACC Coastal Division title. They lost to FSU in the ACC Championship Game by the score of 21-15 but clearly made an impression on Fisher. After the season, Johnson hired Ted Roof as DC and Kelly moved south. New Seminoles’ coach Willie Taggart chose not to keep Kelly and he joined Tennessee.


The Crimson Tide coaching staff is replenishing their numbers though the duties are still unknown. Alabama already has a special teams coach and a secondary coach. The belief was that Pete Golding would take over as DC. There could be a co-DC title on Kelly’s business card but it is yet to be determined what position he will lead.

Alabama is now at nine assistants with one more to hire:

  1. Pete Golding Co-Defensive Coordinator/Inside Linebackers
  2. Craig Kuligowski Associate Head Coach/Defensive Line
  3. Karl Scott Defensive Backs
  4. Jeff Banks Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends
  5. Joe Pannunzio Running Backs
  6. Steve Sarkisian* Offensive Coordinator
  7. Sal Sunseri* Defensive TBD
  8. Kyle Flood* Offensive Line
  9. Charles Kelly* Defensive TBD
  10. Offense ? (Butch Jones? Charles Huff?)

* Unofficial.