Reports: Alabama hires S. Alabama, Buffalo head coaches to staff

League: NCAA Football

Posted on: 16 Jan, 2024 at 11:11 PM

Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

South Alabama head coach Kane Wommack resigned Tuesday morning and is expected to be hired as the new defensive coordinator at Alabama.

Later Tuesday, ESPN and The Athletic reported that Buffalo head coach Maurice Linguist planned to step down to join Alabama's staff as a defensive assistant.

Wommack, 36, would reunite with new Crimson Tide head coach Kalen DeBoer, who worked with Wommack on the coaching staff at Indiana in 2019.

Wommack confirmed his plan to join Alabama to multiple outlets.

"Kalen DeBoer and I have always had such great appreciation for one another, professionally and personally," he told WKRG in Mobile, Ala. "He is one of my closest friends in this business. ... We always knew that if there was a chance to get to work together one day, that was something that we at least wanted to explore. It just felt like the stars aligned to be able to do it here at Alabama."

Wommack guided the Jaguars to bowl games in two of his three seasons at South Alabama. In 2020 at Indiana, Wommack was a finalist for the Broyles Award as the top assistant coach in college football.

"I deeply appreciate Kane's service to our program, university and city," South Alabama director of athletics Joel Erdmann said Tuesday morning in a statement. "His efforts propelled us forward and we wish him and (wife) Melissa (Wommack) the very best."

South Alabama was 15th in the nation in total defense in 2023, giving up 313.2 yards per game, and ranked in the top 27 in points allowed each of the past two seasons (21.3 points per game in 2022; 21.0 points per game in ‘23).

Wommack's father, Dave, was defensive coordinator in the SEC at Ole Miss from 2012-16, when Kane Wommack worked as a graduate assistant and then defensive backs coach.

Linguist, 39, was 14-23 in three seasons at Buffalo after taking over when Lance Leipold left for the Kansas job. He has SEC experience coaching safeties at Mississippi State in 2016 and cornerbacks at Texas A&M in 2018-19.

Travaris Robinson interviewed with DeBoer last week but was elevated to co-defensive coordinator at Georgia and opted to stay with the Bulldogs.

A handful of former Nick Saban assistant coaches are expected to stay.

DeBoer is widely expected to bring his offensive coordinator at Washington, Ryan Grubb, to Tuscaloosa in the same role.

--Field Level Media