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Former Tide LB Shaun Dion Hamilton to coach defensive backs in Reese’s Senior Bowl

Shaun Dion Hamilton (#50) breaks down to tackle a running back for the Buffalo Bills in 2021 NFL Preseason Game with Lions
Raj Mehta - USA TODAY Sports

The University of Alabama changed the landscape of college football with its dominance, so it is fitting to have an alum of the Crimson Tide transform one of the National Football League’s most struggling franchises.

The Detroit Lions have not made the playoffs since 2016 and have won a division title since 1993. Dan Campbell made the Lions competitive and exciting in his second season as head coach. Detroit finished at 9-8, and despite missing the playoffs, Campbell had the team in the race. Shaun Dion Hamilton, a former Crimson Tide linebacker, also had it in the playoff race.

RELATED: Former Alabama DL Da’Ron Payne added to NFL Pro Bowl roster

Chad Kelly (#10) dives into the end zone for an Ole Miss touchdown in 2015 versus Alabama

Sep 19, 2015; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Mississippi Rebels quarterback Chad Kelly (10) dives over the goal as he is hit by Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Shaun Hamilton (20) at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Hamilton, a native of Montgomery, Ala., got taken in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins/Football Team. He spent three seasons in Washington (2018-20) before heading to Detroit for the 2021 season. After a year of playing, Hamilton got cut. Campbell saw his mind as a coach and wanted him on staff as a defensive assistant. Hamilton returned to the team in 2022 as a coach. He is a former two-time College Football Playoff National Champion, but Hamilton is assisting with changing the narrative of the Lions. Detroit finished with a winning season, including a victory over the Green Bay Packers.

His efforts have gotten recognized by Jim Nagy and the Senior Bowl.

Simone Eli, a TV Sports Director and Host for WKRG TV in Mobile, Ala., spoke to Nagy about Hamilton’s transition from football player to coaching. Hamilton will represent the Lions at the Reese’s Senior Bowl as a defensive backs coach. 

He played for the Crimson Tide under Nick Saban from 2014 to 2017.

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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.

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.

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