Alabama Football News

Why a Kirby Smart Departure Wouldn’t Mean Doomsday for the Tide

Marvin Gentry - USA TODAY Sports

Whenever a team builds success over a period of time as the Alabama Crimson Tide have, both the players and coaches will garner recognition. Other teams in need of a good head coach have begun looking towards Tuscaloosa to fill their coaching needs.

Crimson Tide defensive coordinator Kirby Smart is one of the biggest names tied to head coaching searches across the county. Smart has been Alabama’s defense coordinator since the 2008 season and has coached three National Championship winning defenses.

A lot of fans of the program have become concerned with the void that would be left by Smart’s departure. The man that could possibly replace Smart in already apart of the current Crimson Tide coaching staff.

The man that would be perfect to replace Smart as defensive coordinator is current defensive backs coach Mel Tucker. Tucker a former NFL defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bear is in his first season with the Tide.

So far in his first season in Tuscaloosa the Tide rank fifth in passes intercepted and rank first in the country in interceptions returned for touchdowns. The Crimson Tide have 12 total interceptions this season, in all of 2014 the Tide had 11 interceptions. Led by Eddie Jackson who has five interceptions this season two more than Cyrus Jones’s team leading three interceptions in 2014.

Tucker also coached at Ohio State as a defensive backs coach and won a National Championship in 2002 with the Buckeyes. Tucker also has ties to Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban that extend far beyond the 2015 season.

Tucker was a graduate assistant under Nick Saban at Michigan State. He held the job from 1997-98. Tucker was again hired by Saban this time he coached the secondary at LSU in 2000. Tucker even remembers Saban recruiting him at Toledo in his one season as head coach in 1990. Tucker eventually played defensive back at Wisconsin.

Tucker certainly has the resume to be considered for defensive coordinator if the position does become available. If Kirby Smart does choose to leave Tide for head coaching opportunity it will certainly be a big loss for Alabama. However with Tucker already on staff a defensive coordinator in waiting might be the current situation for the Tide.

Ivan L. White is a contributor for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @ilwhite1

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