Alabama has to replace at least three assistants

Alabama has to replace at least three assistants

January 11th, 2019 by David Paschall in Sports - College

Josh Gattis worked just one season as Alabama's receivers coach before being named Thursday as the new offensive coordinator at Michigan.

Josh Gattis worked just one season as Alabama's...

Photo by Crimson Tide Photos

Alabama won the Southeastern Conference title and reached the championship game of the College Football Playoff this past season despite having six new assistant coaches.

Turnover for the Crimson Tide staff in 2019 is already underway.

Alabama will move forward in Nick Saban's 13th year as head coach without offensive coordinator Mike Locksley, receivers coach Josh Gattis and offensive line coach Brent Key. Locksley was announced last month as Maryland's new head coach but remained with the Tide through their playoff run, and Gattis was announced Thursday as Michigan's offensive coordinator.

Key is leaving Tuscaloosa for Georgia Tech, his alma mater, where he will serve as offensive line coach, assistant head coach and running game coordinator for new Yellow Jackets head coach Geoff Collins.

"Brent did a great job at the University of Alabama, producing some of the top offensive lines in college football," Collins said in a release. "He's a great leader and a great friend. He was here at Georgia Tech as a player when I was a graduate assistant, and when I was promoted to tight ends coach, he took my place as a G.A.

"I'm really excited to have such a high-level coach want to be a part of what we're building here at Georgia Tech. I'm excited to see what he does as we transition to our offense of the future."

Key started 44 games at right guard for the Yellow Jackets from the 1997 to 2000 seasons, earning All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors as a senior. In his three seasons overseeing Alabama's offensive line, Key helped mold the likes of Bradley Bozeman, Ross Pierschbacher, Cam Robinson and Jonah Williams.

Williams was a consensus All-American this past season as a junior left tackle.

Gattis worked just one season at Alabama after being hired last January from Penn State, and he had the luxury the past several months of coaching sophomores Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs and Devonta Smith and freshman Jaylen Waddle. Jeudy had 68 catches for 1,315 yards and 14 touchdowns this past season, and he won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top receiver.

"This is the leadership challenge I've coveted," Gattis said. "The football tradition at the University of Michigan is among the very best in college athletics."

Contact David Paschall at or 423-757-6524.