New Alabama coach Kalen DeBoer has reportedly tapped a college head coach to run the Crimson Tide’s defense.
According to multiple reports, South Alabama coach Kane Wommack is set to be the school’s new defensive coordinator. Wommack, 36, has been the head coach at South Alabama for the past three seasons and the school announced Tuesday that Wommack had resigned.
“I deeply appreciate Kane’s service to our program, university and city,” South Alabama athletic director Joel Erdmann said in a statement. “His efforts propelled us forward and we wish him and [wife] Melissa the very best.”
Wommack has turned South Alabama into a competitive Sun Belt program during his time with the school. The Jaguars made the leap to the top level of college football in 2012 and had made two bowls and never posted a winning season before his hire after the 2020 season.
After going 5-7 in 2021, South Alabama did more than just post a winning season in 2022. The Jaguars went 10-3 and appeared in the New Orleans Bowl. In 2023, the school got its first bowl win in program history with a 59-10 blowout win over Eastern Michigan. South Alabama ended the 2023 season at 7-6 and also easily beat Oklahoma State in Week 3.
The Jaguars gave up 21 points per game over the course of 2023 and allowed five yards per play. Opposing quarterbacks completed less than 60% of their passes and failed to throw for over 200 yards per game.
Wommack and DeBoer have coached together before. Wommack spent three seasons as an assistant at Indiana from 2018-2020 before he went to South Alabama and was the team’s defensive coordinator in 2019 when DeBoer was the offensive coordinator. Indiana went 8-5 in 2019; it was the school’s first eight-win season since 1993.
Wommack’s reported hire means that DeBoer will have both of his coordinators in place less than a week after he was tabbed to replace Nick Saban. Former Washington offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb is reportedly set to follow DeBoer to Tuscaloosa and run the Crimson Tide’s offense. Grubb has been DeBoer’s offensive coordinator for the past four seasons at both Washington and Fresno State. He also interviewed to be Alabama’s offensive coordinator ahead of the 2023 season but elected to stay at Washington.