Connect with us

Alabama Football News

Nick Saban explains why Robert Bala was the right choice for Alabama to coach ILBs

Dec 31, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban smiles while on the trophy podium after a victory against the Cincinnati Bearcats during the 2021 Cotton Bowl college football CFP national semifinal game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Emmons - USA Today Sports

Pete Golding doubled as Alabama’s inside linebackers coach and defensive coordinator for four seasons (2019-22).

He is now with Lane Kiffin at Ole Miss, which allowed Nick Saban to hire a new inside linebackers coach.

RELATED: Alabama’s Travaris Robinson coaching entire secondary this spring

The 71-year-old chose a former Liberty staffer to join him with the Crimson Tide. Robert Bala served as a defensive analyst at Liberty in 2022; however, Saban feels he is good enough to mentor the linebackers. People were confused by the Bala hire as they wanted a proven name coaching one of the most important positions for Alabama. Bala assisted the Flames to be top-ranked in tackles for loss (121, 9.3 per game) in 2022 and No. 3 nationally for sacks (45, 3.46 per game). He has 15 years of experience overall coaching cornerbacks, linebackers, and safeties. He has served at smaller programs, but Bala was a defensive coordinator at Southern Utah and Palomar College. Saban sees Bala as someone who will serve as a great teacher, developer, and on-field coach. On Monday, he mentioned to reporters why Bala was the best candidate for the program.

“We look for guys that fit our culture from a character standpoint,” Saban said.

“We want guys that are going to set a good example and be good leaders for the players on our team. Secondly, we are looking for people who know — especially knowledge of our system. And, can the guy be a good teacher? In the interview process, we thought that Robert was an excellent candidate as a young guy that can come in and do those things well for us.”

Bala will lean on Saban, Kevin Steele, Charlie Strong, and Freddie Roach for guidance.

If he can return the inside linebackers to elite performance, Tide fans will be excited to have Bala.

Click here to follow the Bama Elite Podcast

*Get the BEST Alabama football insider information, message board access, and recruiting coverage today! SIGN UP HERE to unlock our subscriber-only content!*

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.

More in Alabama Football News