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New name has emerged at Alabama for defensive line coach

Cedric Mason - Touchdown Alabama Magazine

[UPDATED]: According to a report from Football Scoop, Brian Baker of Mississippi State University has accepted the defensive line coach position at the University of Alabama.

He will replace Craig Kuligowski, who is expected to not return to the Crimson Tide for the 2019 season. Baker has over 30 years of experience coaching football, including 19 years in the National Football League.

He turned the Bulldogs into one of the college football’s elite defenses in the last three seasons.


The idea was for Bo Davis to return to the University of Alabama as a defensive line coach; however, his situation with the NCAA does not end until April 13.  

Head coach Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide will have its annual A-Day Game on that date, and Davis would not have enough time to coach players in the spring. With this predicament, a new name has emerged and it would be huge if the Tide can land him. 

Brian Baker has over 30 years of coaching experience, including 19 years in the National Football League.

Christopher Walsh of Bama Central was first to report news on Saban and the Tide showing interest in Baker. After starting his career in the pros with the San Diego Chargers (now in Los Angeles) in 1996, Baker was a defensive line coach for the Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, St. Louis/L.A. Rams, Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys from 1997 to 2012.  

RELATED: Projected defensive coaching staff for Alabama football in 2019

He spent one season with the Cleveland Browns in 2013 and one year with the Washington Redskins in 2014, serving at linebackers’ coach for both teams. Some of the names he produced in the league include DeMarcus Ware, Julius Peppers, Kevin Williams, Leonard Little, Charles Johnson, Anthony Spencer, Jeremiah Ratliff, La’Roi Glover, Robert Porcher and Luther Eliss. 

During his three years at Mississippi State University, Baker transformed the Bulldogs into having one of college football’s finest defensive lines.

Fifty-nine of the school’s 100 sacks from 2016 to 2018 were credited to the men up front.

Baker has Montez Sweat and Jeffery Simmons positioned as first-round picks in the upcoming NFL Draft, while his unit gave Alabama’s offense the most problems in the Southeastern Conference in both 2017 and last season. 

Following its output of 51 points in 2016, the Tide was held to 31 points and 24 points in the last two years against Mississippi State. Under Baker, the Bulldogs were second in scoring defense (13.2 ppg) and first nationally in total defense (263.1 ypg) — despite finishing 2018 at 8-5.

Craig Kuligowski, who served as defensive line coach and associate head coach in 2018, is not expected to return to Alabama coaching staff for next fall.

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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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