Meet Doug Nussmeier

Submitted by 1464 on January 9th, 2014 at 6:35 AM

I'm sure this is on it's way from official sources, but here are some interesting bits about our new OC, who apparently has been dubbed "The Nuss" by other sites:

-  From Alabama blog - Gumpin' on Saturday:

There’s no question that the offense has opened up more under Nussmeier. Alabama’s bread and butter in the passing game are still shallow and intermediate routes, designed to attack the linebackers in space, but their use of vertical passing concepts has increased under Nussmeier. As a matter of fact, I actually wrote about this before the season. Nussmeier really seems to favor three verticals, typically with all three receivers (or two receivers and a tight end) lined up on the same side of the field. It has been tremendously effective, both due to the execution on the field and the timing of the play call. From a play calling standpoint, Nussmeier really seems to have a great sense for when a team is vulnerable on the back end, and that has proven quite valuable during his two years here.

I think Nussmeier has done a very good job thus far as a recruiter. He certainly isn’t the Tide’s top assistant in that area, but that’s to be expected considering he has never coached in this part of the country before and simply does not have the same connections that some of the Tide’s other assistants do. And I think that showed last year, when, according to Rivals, he was only responsible for directly recruiting two members of Alabama’s class, one of which was a quarterback from Utah. But the improvement from last year to this year has been dramatic. Up to this point he has been directly responsible for securing the commitments of a top running back (Bo Scarbrough), top wide receiver (Derek Kief), and top quarterback (David Cornwell), to go along with a few others.

- At least one site (thebiglead) recommended him to be the USC HC before that position was filled.  In addition, many tied him to the Washington HC position as well.

Why waste time going after Kevin Sumlin (probably NFL-bound) or Chris Petersen (how many schools does he have to reject before people get the picture?), when you could poach a guy who knows the West Coast and knows offense?

- Q & A with Nuss via their local ABC site:

Coach Nussmeier, occasionally we've seen Alabama come out, no huddle, and kind of spread things out a little bit with a high tempo right out of the gate, and Nick Saban said postgame that we were looking to get the fatigue started early. Obviously you can't comment on what the plan is for this week, but can you just remark on the value of coming out at up tempo, no huddle?

"Well, you know, I think if you look at college football in general, that's a growing trend, no-huddle offense, speed, hurry-up. As any game you play, the ability to change the tempo of the game offensively or defensively can create a competitive advantage for you, if it's useful in the game you're playing."

- From Saturday Down South, an SEC blog.  Nuss is listed as the number one assistant in the SEC who is ready to be a head coach:

Buzz: I’ll argue the one coach on the Tide’s coaching staff most ready to become a head coach is Doug Nussmeier over Kirby Smart. Nussmeier came from Washington, and his offense scored the most points per game (38.71) of any Bama team since 2001. Nussmeier is ready to become a head coach after 2013.

- Kirby Smart on working with Nuss:

McCarron said it's been a "cool experience" working with Nussmeier, and Tide defensive coordinator Kirby Smart appreciates the challenges being presented daily on the practice fields. Smart won the 2009 Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant coach, and his defense last year was No. 1 nationally in every major statistical category.

"They give us a couple more personnel groupings, more than Coach McElwain used," Smart said. "He does a really good job with the kids. He's a lot like Coach McElwain. He and Jim McElwain come from similar backgrounds, so there's a lot of carryover there. They both do a good job in the passing game and are both very innovative.

"They've got an answer for everything that you do, so it's always a chess match."




January 9th, 2014 at 9:07 AM ^

The ESPN article linked above suggests that Saban is looking to transfer to a more uptempo spread offense and didn't feel like Nussmeier was going to fit that bill. Additionally, they hired Kiffin as a consultant in December after he got fired by USC and it sounds like Saban kind of fell in love with him, so it might have just been a new shiny versus known commodity kind of thing.


You can't really argue with his results either at Alabama or Washington.


January 9th, 2014 at 11:53 AM ^

OMG! I have been so happy since we got the call that school is on (isn't that crazy that they had to call to tell us that we are having school?) and a great new hire! So glad I can hang out here today without all the interruptions.

Johnny Blood

January 9th, 2014 at 8:10 AM ^

I still can't believe that Saban would prefer Kiffin over this guy.  By all accounts they are both good coordinators and recruiters, but Nuss seems to come without all the baggage that Kiffin brings.

Perhaps Saban is losing his touch.  It wasn't his offense that kept him out of the championship game... his defense against Auburn was atrocious (actually, their defense against any team with a pulse was pretty bad - A&M put up 42 points on them, Auburn 34, and OU 45), as was their special teams. 


January 9th, 2014 at 11:41 AM ^

Goes directly on Saban's shoulders as the guy who stubbornly went for it on 4th and 1 from the Auburn 13, instead of kicking a field goal with five minutes left.  His team would have went up by 10.  Much better odds against a running team, even if you've been gashed all day.

Louie C

January 9th, 2014 at 1:15 PM ^

I think this move is what makes him even more of an ass. His D gets gashed up by multip opponents, is solely responsible for the loss to UA yet it appears that he pushes Nussmeier out, possibly in favor of a guy that makes Yakety Sax play in my head whenever he is mentioned. If Kiffin does go down there, things will be interesting to say the least; especially with two egos that size there.


January 9th, 2014 at 8:41 AM ^

I think one of the best parts of Nuss being here is he brings perspective from a perennial winner. He's literally been at the top of the mountain at Bama. I hope he can bring certain changes that might be missing, based on his experience with Saban. Let's face it, they know what they're doing down there.

Mr. Yost

January 9th, 2014 at 12:37 PM ^

Was about him basically being a head coach or ready to be. That's perfect. We need a head coach of the offense. I've said this before, Hoke needs an offensive head coach like Rich Rod will forever need a defensive head coach. Which is fine for both guys...but both will struggle if they don't have some strong leadership on the "other" side of the ball. Borges seemed like a nice guy but I never felt like it was his program outside of the QB position. It sounds like Nuss is the complete package.


January 9th, 2014 at 8:46 AM ^

It's Business Time!!! Time to get down to business and fix our horribly crippled offensive running attack. I hope Hoke let's him fill his own offensive coaching positions, especially at OL. Funk needs to pack up and go, son.



January 9th, 2014 at 8:50 AM ^

Watched a decent amount of Alabama this year.  In his two seasons there, the ONLY criticism you can make is the OL's pass proection against OU in the Sugar Bowl.

The loss to Auburn is 100% on the kicking game.  

They won every other game, and did so with 'record breaking' offense at Alabama.  

This is just an amazing hire.  Kudos to Brandon and Hoke.  


January 9th, 2014 at 8:59 AM ^

I don't mean to brag, but it's happening you guys. Especially if Franklin flips from Vandy to Penn State.


We planted the seed you guys. Bielema is in the SEC. Now we just have to keep the pressure on them. Right now the model for coaching career path looks like this...

MAC > B1G > Fired

That isn't helping us at all. Now OSU has the right idea. I know. Crazy right? He got the SEC coach to come to the B1G. Now Bielema was the most recent, but remember, Saban came from the B1G too. We just have to convince them to take all our coaches, and turn the model into this...


So while the two B1G coaches currently in the SEC run rampant through the conferece, some very great college coaches are being made to look bad. So while we start filling in the SEC with the next great coach from the B1G (but really the MAC), we come in and swoop up all the actually talented coaches being fired for no reason from the SEC. The Model will look like this....


And so the SEC ends up with MAC Coaches and the B1G ends up with SEC Coaches.

TL;DR: Watch out SEC, y'all about to be MACtion'd.


January 9th, 2014 at 9:10 AM ^

Alright.  So we are all excited.  For those that think Nuss is a bad/meh/questionabale hire, I would like to see those opinions and why.  I do not know much about the guy and most of the excitement is due to the fact that Borges is out (not necessarily who is in).  Post what some of his coaching weaknesses and deficiencies may be so we can get the full picture on this guy.  Thanks


January 9th, 2014 at 9:04 AM ^

He's clearly on the rise. I hope someone doesn't see him after next season and offer him a boatload of cash and a HC job. Stay for a few season please Nuss


January 9th, 2014 at 1:33 PM ^

If you want a young and upcoming coach to be a coordinator, be prepared to replace them every couple years. This is not a bad thing, they get to work for a HC who is seems to be hands off, and they have access to top rated athletes, which, if they are successful, will be a stepping stone on their career path. This helps develop that coaching tree that might eventually bring back the next HC.


January 9th, 2014 at 9:05 AM ^

Is is possible that Nussmeier becomes the "head coach in waiting" (a la Jimbo Fisher @ FSU) at UM?

He's relatively young, head coaching material and an awesome recruiter. It would suck to lose him, to another school, in 3-5 years.


January 9th, 2014 at 9:39 AM ^

Is there any reason for pause here? Perusing some of the Bama websites, they don't seem too upset that he's gone, citing a lack of offensive identity and predictability given the talent level. We are all obviously very excited, but is there any reason for concern as well? Curious to hear your thoughts.


January 9th, 2014 at 9:47 AM ^

They gave up 34 points to Auburn and 45 to Oklahoma and blame the OC for not holding onto the ball for long enough. I guess they don't realize that Auburn can score in 30 seconds with their O. Bama didn't even have a turnover against auburn.


January 9th, 2014 at 10:28 AM ^

This seems like a great hire. I guess I don't understand why Alabama would let him go assuming they wanted to keep him and and also assuming they had the money to do so, which I figure they probably do.