Saban comments on staff additions

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama officially announced the hiring of Doug Nussmeier as the Tide’s new offensive coordinator today. He takes over for Jim McElwain, who left to become head coach at Colorado State.

Nussmeier was offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Washington before joining the Alabama coaching staff.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban said in a release he was happy to welcome Nussmeier and highlighted his experience.

“Not only does he have a good deal of experience as a coach and a player both at the college and NFL level, but he also brings a great passion for the game and a lot of energy and enthusiasm,” Saban said in the statement. “At Washington, they were very productive on offense, especially with their quarterbacks. Jake Locker finished his career as one of the top passers in Washington history and was Tennessee’s first round pick … I think Doug will be a great fit with us and we are looking forward to the Nussmeier family joining our staff at the University of Alabama.”

Nussmeier, in turn, said in a statement released through the university that he was excited for the opportunity and is “looking forward to jumping right in with recruiting and then getting to know the players.”

“Coach Saban and his staff have obviously done a tremendous job here and I want to do my part to help continue that success,” he said in the release. “I’ve heard a lot about Alabama football in terms of the history, the tradition, the great fans, and I can already see why this is such a special place. I want to thank Coach Sarkisian, the players, the staff and everyone at the University of Washington for all they did for me and for our family while we were there. It was a great experience and we have great memories from our time at the UW.”

Alabama also formally announced the return of assistant coach Lance Thompson to coach linebackers. He takes over for Sal Sunseri who left to take over as defensive coordinator for Tennessee.

Thompson spent the last three seasons with the Vols and worked with the linebackers in 2009-10 and the defensive line in 2011.

“We are pleased and happy to have Lance join our staff,” Saban said in a release. “He has worked for us previously and has always done an outstanding job with all of the aspects that go into being an assistant coach. Lance knows our system on defense well, and he does a great job of communicating that information to the players. On a personal level, he relates well with the players and is a very good recruiter. We are glad to have Lance back with our program at the University of Alabama.”

“I’m really glad to be back at Alabama, and I appreciate the opportunity Coach Saban and Kirby Smart have offered me,” Thompson said in a statement. “As a defensive coach, it doesn’t get any better. I look forward to doing my part in helping to maintain the success Coach Saban has brought back to the program. The tradition and history at Alabama is like no other place in the country when it comes to college football and this is a special time to be a part of that.”