University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban has announced the hiring of Tosh Lupoi. Lupoi, who was on Alabama’s staff last season as an analyst, will serve as Alabama’s outside linebackers coach.
“We are happy to have Tosh on board as a full-time assistant coach,” said Saban. “Tosh has impressed me during his time here over the course of last year and he will be a great addition to our defensive staff. He’s a high-energy guy and we feel like he will be able to contribute some new ideas both as a coach on the field as well as his role as in recruiting.”
Lupoi has previous experience in a 3-4 defense as an assistant coach at California and Washington, where he was responsible for coaching the defensive line as well as one of the outside linebacker positions.
Lupoi was an analyst for the defense during the 2014 season for the Crimson Tide. Prior to that role, he served as the defensive line coach and defensive run game coordinator at Washington in 2012 and 2013. The Huskies ranked fourth in the country in sacks per game (3.15) in 2013 while ranking among the top four in the Pac-12 both years in scoring defense. Two of the players he coached at UW during that time earned All-America honors this season in outside linebacker Hau’oli Kikaha and defensive lineman Danny Shelton. Kikaha led the country with 19 sacks in 2014 while Shelton was tops among all interior defensive lineman with nine sacks on the season.
“This is an incredible opportunity,” said Lupoi. “I’m extremely fortunate to join the best college football organization in the country. Fresh off our 24th SEC Championship, playoff appearance and pursing another top-rated signing class, it’s an exciting time at Alabama right now. I couldn’t be more fired up to be part of what Coach Saban and his excellent staff have established. I’m excited to contribute to this great University and organization that truly encompasses excellence on and off the field.”
Lupoi was the defensive line coach at California for four years, becoming the youngest full-time coach in Cal history when he joined the staff at the age of 26 in 2008. The Golden Bears led the Pac-12 in total defense in 2011, allowing just 332.9 yards per game. They were third in sacks that year with 34 and gave up the fewest first downs per game (17.4) and fewest passing yards per game (204.2). Cal also led the conference in defense and ranked among the top 25 nationally in per-game averages for sacks, total defense and pass defense. Lupoi was the Rivals Recruiter of the Year in 2010 and helped sign Cal classes that ranked No. 11 nationally in 2011 and No. 14 in 2010. He helped develop multiple NFL draft picks during his tenure at Cal, including future first round selections Cameron Jordan and Tyson Alualu.
As a player, Lupoi was a defensive lineman for Cal from 2000-05. He led the Bears’ defensive line in tackles in 2003 and earned Pac-10 All-Academic recognition in 2005. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in American studies in 2005 and completed coursework toward a master’s in education.
Lupoi played high school football at De La Salle, one of the most successful programs in the history of prep football, where he earned All-State honors and won a national title. His father, John Lupoi, played collegiate football at Brigham Young and was later a part-time assistant coach at Cal.
All such employment contracts are subject to approval by the University of Alabama Board of Trustees.

K.J. Hill // Alabama or Ohio State?
It’s coming down to crunch time for North Little Rock, AR star receiver K.J. Hill. The 6-1, 192-pounder, who was once a longtime Arkansas commitment, now appears close to picking either Alabama or Ohio State.
Hill made an official visit to Alabama on the weekend of January 16. When he returned from Tuscaloosa, Hill immediately announced that he was no longer committed to Arkansas. He made an official to Ohio State this past weekend.
“It was a great visit,” says Hill’s stepfather, Montez Peterson. “Everything was top notch. We had a lot of time to meet with the coaching staff, especially with Coach Meyer. That really stood out to us. He told us that he’s a hands-on coach with the wide receivers. That’s kind of like Nick Saban working with the defensive backs. So that was something that really stood out about Coach Meyer.”
While Hill hasn’t eliminated the Razorbacks, it seems clear that Alabama and Ohio State are the two frontrunners.
“Right now I’d say it’s probably 50/50 (between Alabama and Ohio State),” Peterson says. “I’d have to sit down and talk with him about it to get a better idea, but I’d say it’s a tossup right now.
“Each school has it’s certain strengths. Both are great programs. Ohio State has everything you need to succeed. It’s almost impossible not to succeed in their program. It’s the same at Alabama. They’re both great programs.”
Hill was originally slated to make an official visit to Arkansas this coming weekend. But that trip now is in doubt.
“The two schools (Alabama and Ohio State) are head and shoulders above the rest,” Peterson says. “We know that he’s got to make a decision soon. He’s hoping to have a decision this week. Alabama is short on scholarships right now. They need to know something. Ohio State said that they will have one for him. They said that they can wait.”
One of the top receivers in the country, the dynamic Hill caught 65 passes for 1,095 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also carried the ball 54 times for 385 yards and seven touchdowns.
“I think he’s a great one,” North Little Rock head coach Brad Bolding said. “He’s one of the best I’ve ever coached. He has great hands and great vision. He has what we call YAC — yards after catch. He makes a lot of yards after he catches it.
“He’s a great return guy, especially as a punt returner. People don’t realize how dangerous he is as return man. We gained a lot of field position, because teams would kick it out of bounds rather than allow him to touch it.
“I think the team that gets him will be getting an exciting player.”

*Alabama Media Relations Contributed To This Report

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