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Alabama DC Kane Wommack appreciates Nick Saban in helping him bring in new scheme

South Alabama head coach Kane Wommack named Alabama's new defensive coordinator
Stephen Lew - USA Today Sports

He always wanted the opportunity to be involved in the culture of Alabama football, and now he has it.

Kane Wommack, 36, is the new defensive coordinator for the University of Alabama. He coordinated defenses at Eastern Illinois (2014-15), South Alabama (2016-17), and Indiana (2019-20) before becoming at head coach at South Alabama.

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In three years (2021-23), Wommack grew the Jaguars’ defense to be one of the best in college football. Last season, South Alabama finished 15th nationally for total defense — allowing 313.2 yards per game. Wommack brings a 4-2-5 “Swarm” attack to the Crimson Tide that he’s excited about. His father, Dave Wommack, is one of the originators of the 4-2-5 scheme. He was a long-tenured defensive coach, including stints at Arkansas, South Carolina, and Ole Miss in the Southeastern Conference.

The young Wommack appreciates Nick Saban in helping him bring in a new dynamic. 

Saban has bounced ideas off Wommack and provided feedback he needs as a defensive mind. Wommack explained the significance of Saban helping him during an interview on The Next Round Show.

“It has happened. Our second in-person meeting happened this morning,” Wommack said about running his dynamic with Saban. ” I was promptly early. It was like cramming for a final the night before, making sure all my cut-ups were ready to go for that meeting. Coach [Saban] has been awesome. He has been helpful, honest, gives me his real thoughts, and I ask him real questions. I want to know this team. I want to know what he envisioned and what he built up from a defensive perspective.”

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Wommack wants to blend the old with the new and find the best way that Alabama can be elite on defense.

“There is a ton of carry-over in what we do and what Coach Saban has done,” Wommack said.

“My dad was a long-time defensive coordinator in the SEC, Dave Wommack, he had great defenses. He was one of the originators of the 4-2-5 defense, but we are more of a 3-4 nickel defense, which is really what Coach Saban has done in the last few years.”

Wommack wants to simplify things, so much will not be on the players. It will be interesting to see how this defense turns out.

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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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