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Here is Why Florida's Coaching Hire is a Big Deal For Alabama

Photo: Kevin C. Cox

The University of Florida has named its new head football coach and, oddly enough, that is yet another win for the University of Alabama.

Upon the Gators' decision to hire Billy Napier on Sunday, six from the 2015 national champion Alabama coaching staff --- including Nick Saban and five of his former assistants -- are now head coaches at Power 5 programs, as FOX Sports Radio's Aaron Torres pointed out onTwitter.

The Tide's 2015 staff included Saban, who is currently in his 15th season at Alabama; Napier, who served as the team's wide receivers coach; Georgia coach Kirby Smart, who served as defensive coordinator; Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin, who served as offensive coordinator; Michigan State coach Mel Tucker, who served as assistant head coach and defensive backs coach; and Oregon coach Mario Cristobal, who served as offensive line coach and was among Alabama's top recruiters.

The Tide rolled to a 14-1 (7-1 SEC) record -- with its lone loss coming to Ole Miss in Week 3 -- en route to its fourth of six national championships and fourth of seven SEC titles won under Saban.

Alabama defeated Florida, 29-15, in the SEC Championship Game; Michigan State, 38-0, in the Cotton Bowl Classic College Football Playoff Semifinal; and Clemson, 45-40, in the 2016 College Football National Championship Game at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

Smart was the first coach to leave the program for a head coaching gig, having accepted the job at his alma mater, Georgia, in December 2015, with Tucker joining his staff as a defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach.

Tucker eventually left Georgia to take over as Colorado's head coach in 2019 before taking over at Michigan State, where Saban had previously coached from 1995-99.

Kiffin, who had previously worked as a college head coach at Tennessee (2009) and USC (2010-13), left Alabama to take over as Florida Atlantic's head coach in 2017, before accepting the head coaching job at Ole Miss in 2020.

Cristobal also left the Tide in 2017 to accept the co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach gigs at the University of Oregon, where he was promoted the following season after then-head coach Willie Taggart accepted the same position at Florida State University.

With Napier joining Florida, SEC now has three of Saban's former assistants at the helm of its programs, with the seven-time national champion currently owning a 24-1 record against his former assistants ahead of Alabama's SEC Championship Game matchup against Smart and Georgia on Saturday.

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