Mike Locksley took an untraditional route to become the Alabama offensive coordinator. He began his time at Alabama as an offensive analyst after being the offensive coordinator and eventual interim coach at Maryland. Locksey joined Alabama in 2016 with an offensive analyst role working with offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin and wide receivers coach Billy Napier. After Napier left for Arizona State, Locksley was promoted to wide receivers coach where he saw Calvin Ridley transition into a first-round draft selection and found ways to implement Henry Ruggs III, Devonta Smith, and Jerry Jeudy into the offense. After the 2017 offensive coordinator, Brian Daboll left the players requested for Locksley to be the next offensive coordinator. Saban rarely does promotions from inside the program but he did with Locksley and the result has been evident in the 2018 season.
Going into the 2018 season would be difficult for Alabama. While Mike Locksley had experience in the offense, Alabama had to replace the top three receivers and the biggest question of the offseason was Tua or Jalen. Despite these obstacles, Locksley was prepared for his first year and he has not looked back. In his first year as offensive coordinator, Locksley has seen the emergence of Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs and Devonta Smith as top receivers in the SEC, turned Irv Smith Jr into an NFL caliber tight end and has found a way to keep three running backs fresh and ready to play. Besides these accomplishments, Locksley turned Tua Tagovailoa into a household name. With Tua and Locksley leading the offense, Alabama has put up historical numbers and is averaging 51 points a game. For the first time under Nick Saban, it is the offense getting the recognition.
Locksley has turned the Alabama offense into a juggernaut and the explosiveness of this offense has landed Locksley as one of the 53 nominees on the Broyles Award watch list. This award is given annually to the best assistant coach in college football. Only one coach has won the Broyles Award while working under Nick Saban and that is Kirby Smart. Mike Locksley is hoping to become the first Alabama offensive coordinator to win the award.
In addition to his work with the offense, Locksley is a well-known recruiter and is responsible for recruiting Jaylen Waddle, Eyabi Anoma and Xavier Williams who will one day become big-time players at Alabama.
Mike Locksley has improved the offense and found ways to implement not only two quarterbacks but ways for six players to have more than 100 receiving yards in the season and two quarterbacks who have only thrown three interceptions. Locksley has shown he knows the offense and in his first year as offensive coordinator he has shown that he is capable of winning the Broyles Award.