Alabama adds pair to football staff

Alabama adds pair to football staff

Published Jan. 18, 2012 12:00 a.m. ET

Alabama has hired Doug Nussmeier as offensive coordinator and brought Lance Thompson back to coach outside linebackers.

Nussmeier directed the Washington Huskies offense the past three seasons. He replaces Jim McElwain, who left to become head coach at Colorado State after helping the Crimson Tide win its second national championship in three years.

Thompson also coached outside linebackers for Alabama in 2007 and 2008 before spending three seasons at Tennessee. He replaces Sal Sunseri, now Tennessee's defensive coordinator.

Nussmeier worked with quarterback Jake Locker, the No. 8 overall draft pick by the Tennessee Titans last year.


Washington's offense scored 57 touchdowns and 431 points last season, the second-highest totals in school history behind only the 1991 national championship team. Sophomore Keith Price broke school records for passing touchdowns (33), completion percentage (66.9) and passing efficiency rating (161.9).

Alabama coach Nick Saban said Nussmeier will be ''a great fit.''

''We are excited to have Doug as our new offensive coordinator at Alabama,'' Saban said. ''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.''

Nussmeier's 2010 offense was balanced, with 2,238 rushing yards and 2,475 passing yards.

The Huskies scored 26.1 points per game two years ago, nearly double their output from the previous season. That team also raised its average in total offense by 110 yards.

''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,'' Nussmeier said. ''I want to thank coach (Steve) 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.''

Nussmeier spent one season as offensive coordinator at Fresno State and had stints as quarterbacks coach with Michigan State and the NFL's St. Louis Rams.

Thompson was named the National Recruiter of the Year for helping Alabama land what was widely regarded as the nation's top signing class in 2008. He worked with linebackers for two seasons at Tennessee and worked with the defensive line in 2011.

He also spent two seasons under Saban at LSU as assistant head coach in charge of recruiting and tight ends.

''As a defensive coach, it doesn't get any better,'' he said. ''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.''