Newly hired Georgia special teams coach Scott Cochran had been a part of Nick Saban’s staff as his strength and conditioning coach since 2007, when Saban first took over in Tuscaloosa.
Cochran was a part of Saban’s 2003 national championship staff at LSU, too, before a 2004-06 stint with the NBA’s New Orleans Hornets.
Cochran joined an Alabama staff that included Kirby Smart, then the assistant head coach and secondary coach for the Tide.
Saban explained to ESPN on Monday night, as it related to Cochran leaving his staff per Rolltide.com, it was a matter of his strength and conditioning coach wanting a new “career path.”
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Even after all those years Cochran spent managing and developing the Alabama players in the offseason, and all that energy he brought to the sideline, Saban couldn’t see fit to give Cochran an opportunity to advance his career.
Smart, who worked with Cochran at Alabama from 2007-15, has had a vacant on-field assistant coach position at Georgia since James Coley’s departure for Texas A&M on Jan. 24.
Smart knew enough about Cochran to make the move.
Saban, meanwhile, says he understands.
“Scott did a really good job for us here and was a big part of our success, but he was looking for a new career path,” Saban said in an interview with ESPN.
“He wanted to get on to the field coaching and would like one day, I think, to be a head coach,” Saban said. “We didn’t really have anything here to offer him along those lines, and Georgia did. I understand him wanting to take on that path.”