Alabama players turned coaches has become a trend in Tuscaloosa. According to numerous media sites, including al.com and 247 sports, former Crimson Tide standout Freddie Roach will join Nick Saban’s coaching staff in 2015 as an on and off-field player developer. Roach takes over for Chris Samuels, who left Alabama to accept a heading coaching position at Osbourn High School in Manassas, Va.
Roach was South Alabama’s defensive line and outside linebackers coach in 2013-14. He guided a pair of seniors, Romelle Jones and Alex Paige, to first-team All-Sun Belt Conference honors. Both tied for second in the conference in sacks (7.5). Jones’s 14 tackles for loss placed him second in the Sun Belt, while Paige’s 13 stops behind the line of scrimmage tabbed him third.
He worked with Murray State in 2012 as its defensive line coach and assistant strength coach, but Roach struck gold in 2011 at East Mississippi Community College.
He was the defensive line coach and director of strength and conditioning. The Lions finished 2011 at 12-0, and captured a National Junior College Athletic Association Championship.
Roach isn’t a stranger to coaching in Tuscaloosa. He served as Alabama’s associate strength and conditioning coach from 2008-10. Roach was a part of three bowl appearances, a Southeastern Conference title (2009) and a national championship in the 2009 season.
He played inside linebacker under coaches Dennis Franchione (2001-02) and Mike Shula (2003-06). Roach was consistent, despite Alabama’s issues with its football program.
He totaled 272 tackles, four sacks, six forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, 15 pass breakups, 17 quarterback hurries and an interception in his five-year tenure (2001-05).
Roach received many awards as a redshirt freshman, including SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2002. Roach appeared in three bowl games as a player. He made second-team All-SEC twice in 2004 and 2005. Roach is a member of Alabama’s All-Decade Team 2000s.