Alabama set to hire Jay Graham as TE/ST coach
Nick Saban appears to put together the final piece of his 2021 coaching staff. According to multiple reports, Alabama is set to hire Jay Graham as its tight ends coach and special teams coordinator. He will replace Jeff Banks, who left to coach at Texas earlier this month.
Graham, a former Tennessee running back, spent last season coaching running backs for his alma mater. Before that, he coached running backs and special teams at Texas A&M from 2018-19 after serving in the same role for Florida State from 2013-17.
While the majority of Graham’s experience has come coaching both running backs and special teams, he did work with tight ends for one season at South Carolina in 2011.
Alabama returns a promising pass-catcher at tight end in Jahleel Billingsley, who recorded 18 receptions for 287 yards and three touchdowns last season. The Tide also brings back the nation’s most accurate placekicker in Will Reichard, who was perfect on all 14 of his field-goal attempts as well as all 84 of his extra-point tries.
Graham, a Concord, N.C. native is also seen as an elite recruiter. He helped South Carolina land five-star back Marcus Lattimore in the 2010 class before landing five-star back Cam Akers for Florida State in 2017.
Alabama has already announced the hirings of Bill O’Brien and Doug Marrone. O’Brien will replace Steve Sarkisian as the Tide’s next offensive coordinator, while Marrone will replace Kyle Flood as the offensive line coach. Sarkisian left to become the head coach at Texas and brought Flood with him to be the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach.
Alabama is also set to hire Robert Gillespie as its next running backs coach. Gillespie will replace Charles Huff, who left to become the head coach at Marshall.