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Alabama to promote Tosh Lupoi to defensive coordinator, defensive play caller

Mark J. Rebilas - USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in the Nick Saban era at the University of Alabama, two marquee coaching promotions were made from inside the program. After hiring Michael Locksley to offensive coordinator, Saban is expected to promote co-defensive coordinator/outside linebackers coach Tosh Lupoi to defensive coordinator and play caller – according to a report from AL.com. 

Lupoi, 36, has served on Saban’s staff since 2014, when he arrived as a defensive recruiting intern from the University of Washington. He coached the Huskies’ defensive line and was its defensive run game coordinator from 2012-13, while prior to that Lupoi spent four seasons at University of California, Berkley as a defensive line coach.

As an undergraduate student, he played on the defensive line for the Golden Bears from 2000-05. 

Under Lupoi, Alabama has seen some of its best talent produced at outside linebacker – including Ryan Anderson and Tim Williams. Both players blossomed and were critical factors in the team’s run to a College Football Playoff National Championship in 2015. Williams and Anderson are currently in the National Football League. Behind Lupoi’s personality, the Crimson Tide was able to land quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, running back Najee Harris, linebacker Dylan Moses and linebacker Chris Allen for its 2017 recruiting class that ranked No. 1 in the country. 

Despite his age, Saban sees something special in Lupoi as a mentor. In talking with different players, the vibe around him is that he is ‘very intelligent’ and ‘personable.’ He was alongside his boss on just about every recruiting trip with this year’s class, as it hammered needs on defense. 

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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