After five seasons at Alabama and four as an on-field assistant, Tosh Lupoi is leaving the Crimson Tide and is headed to the Cleveland Browns as its defensive line coach.
News came from Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports, as Nick Saban will be in search of a defensive coordinator for a second straight season. He started in 2014 as a defensive recruiting intern, but Lupoi quickly became an on-field coach with outside linebackers in 2015.
BREAKING: #Alabama DC Tosh Lupoi is going to take a job on the Cleveland Browns staff, coaching the D-line, per source. Was a huge recruiting force the Tide as primary recruiter for Tua, Jonah Williams, Raekwon Davis, Najee Harris, Alex Leatherwood, Trevon Diggs & Dylan Moses.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) January 17, 2019
He mentored a bunch of talented names, including Tim Williams, Ryan Anderson, Christian Miller, Anfernee Jennings and Terrell Lewis among others.
The California native was promoted to co-defensive coordinator in 2017 under Jeremy Pruitt and helped the Tide win a College Football Playoff National Championship.
Upon his growth, Saban bumped Lupoi to defensive play caller for 2018 and he did a decent job, except getting the team prepared for Clemson in the CFP title game. Alabama fell 44-16 and according to sources, there was a “disconnect” at times between Lupoi and a few of the leaders on defense for Alabama.
Aside from the issue, the 36-year-old was an elite recruiter.
Lupoi was responsible for the Tide landing Tua Tagovailoa, Najee Harris, Chris Allen and Dylan Moses in the 2017 signing class. Losing him a huge blow in that department, but getting Steve Sarkisian back may cushion the fall. Sarkisian, like Lupoi, is a native of California.
Lupoi was a defensive line coach at both California and Washington, prior to coming to Alabama.
In terms of potential names to replace Lupoi, keep all eyes on Jimmy Lake of Washington, Todd Bates of Clemson, Lance Thompson (former Alabama LB coach) and Pete Golding (current Alabama co-defensive coordinator).
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