The Saban coaching tree has sprouted another branch in Gainesville.
Former Alabama (2012-2013) & Michigan (2014) offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier will be taking over the reins from Kurt Roper for the 2015 season in the same position.
He will join the staff of new head coach Jim McElwain, who arrived at the Swamp via a head coaching position at Colorado State & the offensive coordinator at Alabama.
Nussmeier followed McElwain at Alabama as OC.
And of course this is all after Saban’s former defensive coordinator, Will Muschamp, was fired as the Gators head coach.
Between the two of them, Nussmeier & McElwain helped coach the Tide to three national championships (2009, 2011, 2012).
Then again, Muschamp won a championship with Saban as well at LSU, but that’s another story for another day.
But back to Nuss.
After a year with the self-imposing Wolverines, the former Tide coach will return to the SEC.
Nuss and his powerful offense actually brought the SEC their last national championship.
It was in January 2013, the conclusion to the 2012 football season, in Miami, Florida.
Nussmeier’s offense destroyed undefeated Notre Dame to the tune of a 42-14 victory and 529 total yards. This against a defense that was centered around a Heisman finalist.
Nussmeier’s game plan was so astutely & undramatically effective that the biggest competition of the night came between AJ McCarron and his center in a late game misunderstanding & the most memorable part of the evening was watching Katherine Webb become a celebrity before our very eyes.
Now he’s bringing the Nuss bus(s) to Florida where he’ll have running backs Kelvin Taylor and Brandon Powell ready to be properly utilized. Fans can only hope they are used in much the same way he used Eddie Lacy and TJ Yeldon in 2012, when both rushed for over 1,000 yards.
The running backs have mostly been a product of great recruiting though. Douggie’s true talent lies in developing quarterbacks, a trait he shares with McElawain and one that could immediately be beneficial to a group of signal callers floundering for a skilled leader.
In the two years Nussmeier was in Tuscaloosa, he took consummate game manager AJ McCarron and helped him compile stats for 2012-2013 that read 5,996 yards for 58 touchdowns to only 10 interceptions.
One of those touchdowns was for 99 yards and a perfect example of why Nussmeier has rose so quickly in this profession at the age of 44.
On the one yard line in not only a de facto championship game, but also a pride game called the Iron Bowl, tied at 21 in the 4th quarter, Nuss dialed up a gutsy call that saw McCarron throwing a bomb out of the back of the endzone. It paid off as he connected with Amari Cooper for what officially was tallied as a 99 yard touchdown pass.
This confident quarterback play has always been apart of Nussmeier’s career. The former Idaho QB won the Walter Payton Award in 1993, and that same year became one of only five quarterbacks in the history of the NCAA to throw for 10,000 yards while also rushing for 1,000. It was enough to see him drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the 4th round of the 1994 NFL Draft and spend 5 years in the league in a backup role and one year in the CFL.
Since 2001, he’s been calling the shots though. Now on his 5th stint as offensive coordinator, Nussmeier floats into Gainesville off the Saban tree, ready to use his dominating offense to plant some roots in Gator Nation.