The cracks in the foundation of the Alabama dynasty are getting wider and deeper with every big loss.
Following a 44-16 thumping at the hands of Clemson in the College Football Playoff National Championship, there has been something of a mass exodus underway in Tuscaloosa as assistant coaches Mike Locksley (now the Maryland head coach), Dan Enos (Miami offensive coordinator), and Josh Gattis (Michigan OC) have all left Nick Saban and the Tide for greener pastures elsewhere.
Assistant coaches that Alabama has lost following the 2018 season— Kyle Henderson (@Rivals_Kyle) January 11, 2019
- Mike Locksley, former OC to Maryland Head Coach
- Brent Key, former OL coach to Georgia Tech associate head coach
- Josh Gattis, former WR coach to Michigan OC
- Dan Enos, former QB Caoch, to Miami OC
While top-tier programs (and Alabama especially) are almost numb to losing top assistants to either head coach or coordinator jobs, this latest group to leave Nick Saban could finally be the one that cripples the dynasty.
Part of what has allowed Clemson to catch Bama has been their continuity. While Saban and Co. have lost 32 assistants to head coach or coordinator jobs in the last decade, Clemson has lost just four, and has managed to keep offensive coordinator Tony Elliott and defensive boss Brent Venables year after year.
Saban has made some nice hires season to season, replacing Steve Sarkisian with Brian Daboll and Daboll in turn with Locksley. However, Alabama banking on Saban hitting home runs with assistant coaching hires is not a sustainable to way to keep the dynasty afloat.
I think we are watching the end of Alabama football as it currently stands. That loss exposed them, and now their coaches are looking to go elsewhere. It is too much turnover to recover.— Vincent Rivera (@Vmike90) January 11, 2019
Part of why Justyn Ross decided to leave the state of Alabama and go to Clemson was the "family" atmosphere of the Clemson program. Saban's parade of new assistants isn't super attractive to recruits. Bama will still win plenty of games with Saban at the helm, but the dynasty is a heck of a lot more fragile than it's ever been.