News from the Tennessee Valley Sports

UA's Saban completes his staff

By Josh Cooper 340-2460

TUSCALOOSA — Alabama coach Nick Saban announced the completion of his staff of assistants Monday while also giving out the coach's roles.

Curt Cignetti was hired as the wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator.

Cignetti replaces Steve Marshall, who was hired as Cleveland Browns offensive line coach 16 days after accepting a job from Alabama.

Cignetti spent the last five seasons North Carolina State where he was the tight ends coach from 2000-02 and 2005-06 and quarterbacks coach during 2003-04. He also served as recruiting coordinator.

Saban also listed Major Applewhite as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Joe Pendry is the assistant head coach and offensive line coach.

Applewhite served as offensive coordinator at Rice before coming to Alabama.

"I'm proud with our staff. We have a lot of young up-and-comers and guys with tremendous knowledge and experience," Saban said. "It's important to have different kinds of people in a staff to accentuate their positives."

When asked who would call the plays, Saban hinted that it would be the offensive coordinator's job, but also added, "Whoever gives us the best opportunity to win will call the plays."

The rest of Saban's on-field staff includes Burton Burns as associate head coach and running backs coach and Kirby Smart as assistant head coach and secondary coach. Kevin Steele is the defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach, and Lance Thompson is the outside linebackers coach.

Ron Middleton will coach the tight ends, and Bo Davis, once thought to be the next strength coach, will be the defensive line coach.

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