Alabama Football News

Report: Nick Saban adds another coach to his staff at Alabama as a defensive analyst

Nick Saban clapping during pregame for SEC Championship
Adam Hagy - USA TODAY Sports

Spring practice starts in two weeks, and Nick Saban is still adding coaches to his staff.

According to a report from Matt Zenitz of, Mark Orphey has been hired to the University of Alabama program as a defensive analyst. The 31-year-old native Texan was a three-year starting cornerback at Texas Southern University from 2008 to 2010.

Orphey earned All-Southwestern Athletic Conference honors in 2009 and 2010.

After getting his bachelor’s degree in business administration, he started his coaching career at his Alma mater.

Orphey worked with cornerbacks in 2011 and 2012, producing all-conference players in Jerome Thomas and Tray Walker. In his four seasons (2013-16) at South Carolina, he served as a defensive quality control coach and a graduate assistant. Orphey coached Victor Hampton (2013), Brison Williams (2013), Al Harris Jr. (2015), and Chris Lammons (2015) to All-Southeastern Conference honors.

The Gamecocks went to three bowl games with Orphey (2013, 2014, and 2016), and posted 11 wins in 2013. During two years at Montana State (2017-18), he produced four more all-conference names such as Bryson McCabe (2017), Brayden Konkol (2018), Greg Filer (2018), and Jahque Alleyn (2018).

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Orphey was a secondary coach at Montana State.

He has spent the last two seasons at Utah State as its secondary coach. In 2019, Orphey helped the Aggies force 24 turnovers (13 fumbles, 11 interceptions).

Utah State ranked second in the Mountain West Conference and 15th in the NCAA for its efforts.

Orphey had the Aggies tied for fifth in the nation with 13 fumble recoveries. He helped four defensive players, including Shaq Bond and Troy Lefeged Jr., earn all-Mountain West honors in 2019.

Orphey will be a senior defensive analyst for the Crimson Tide, but his specialty is defensive backs.

Coach Saban made this move for one of two reasons. He either sees Jay Valai leaving after next season, or he sees a young coach on the rise and wants to take advantage of it. Whatever the reason was, Orphey is at Alabama in an off-field defensive role.

He follows Ron Cooper as the second coach Saban has hired in the last couple of days.

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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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