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Report: Alabama expected to hire Liberty’s Robert Bala to coach inside linebackers

Nick Saban clapping during pregame warmups before WCU game in 2019
John David Mercer - USA Today Sports

Nick Saban and Alabama football have found a new inside linebackers coach.

ESPN’s Pete Thamel reports that Robert Bala of Liberty has emerged as the top candidate and is expected to take the job — replacing Austin Armstrong. Bala served as a defensive analyst last year for Liberty. As an alum of Southern Utah, the California native has eight years of experience coaching linebackers. Bala worked specifically with safeties in 2022 at Liberty, but he observed a defense that ranked No. 1 in the nation in tackles for loss (9.3 per game) and No. 3 in sacks (3.46 per game).

He is a young coach on the rise, but Bala gets an opportunity to work with Coach Saban.

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Bala now inherits a talented inside linebacker room with Deontae Lawson, Kendrick Blackshire, Justin Jefferson (junior college transfer), Trezmen Marshall (Georgia transfer), Jihaad Campbell, Shawn Murphy, Ian Jackson, and Qua Russaw (freshman).

Crimson Tide fans will see how he develops the position.

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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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