Connect with us

Alabama Football News

Nick Saban’s famous “butt chewings” led to Gattis leaving for Michigan

© Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Aside from all the jokes about satellite camps and assuring the University of Michigan fan base that its program would be on pair with Alabama, the lone thing that Jim Harbaugh has found success over Nick Saban is taking one of his elite assistants. 

After a strong first season as wide receivers’ coach for the Crimson Tide, it was strongly considered that the Tide would have Josh Gattis for a while. Unfortunately for Alabama, the 34-year-old was rumored to join Michael Locksley at Maryland as offensive coordinator and after a meeting with Saban on last week, Gattis decided that Tuscaloosa was simply not for him. 

According to an audio clip from Patt Smith, co-creator of the Paul Finebaum Show and on-air personality for WJOX 94.5, Gattis said his final meeting with the 67-year-old was not good. 

“When Coach Harbaugh called, it caught me off guard,” Gattis said. “I had literally just left a meeting with Nick Saban, getting my butt chewed out for about 20 minutes. I was telling him that I was leaving and he was trying to get me to stay and so, if there was any band aid to the bruise or to what he left on me is was that phone call. It was exciting to hear his voice.” 

RELATED: Josh Gattis to Maryland rumors return, he’s not expected to be at Alabama in 2019

Under the guidance of the North Carolina native, the Tide had five receivers total at least 500 yards – including a 1,000-yard weapon in Jerry Jeudy, who won the Biletnkioff Award and was recognized as a consensus All-American. The rising junior totaled 1,315 yards with 14 touchdowns on 68 catches. 

Gattis was one of the coaches that was thought to be with Saban for the long haul, and part of the idea of going young for the six-time national champion was to have assistants that he could mentor for a few years. With the likes of Gattis using Saban as a stop-gap to boost his career, one could see why he was upset.  

As Gattis moves on, Lance Taylor continues to be the hot name rumored to coach receivers.  

Taylor, who played at Alabama from 1999 to 2003, has experience in coaching receivers and running backs. In his first stint with the Carolina Panthers in 2013, Taylor coached a group that featured three players over 500 yards receiving and at least four touchdown receptions.  

During the 2017 season, 14 different players had at least one reception for the Panthers (one shy of franchise record) and nine different players had at least one touchdown catch, which tied a franchise record under Taylor. When it comes to backs, he was integral in the development of Christian McCaffery at Stanford – helping him become a Heisman finalist in the 2015 season.

*Get the BEST Alabama football insider information, message board access, and recruiting coverage today! SIGN UP HERE to unlock our subscriber only content!*

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.

Facebook Comments

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

More in Alabama Football News