NCAA Football: SEC Media Day

Jul 17, 2019; Birmingham, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban speaks with the media during SEC Media Days at the Hyatt Regency-Birmingham. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama has proven to be a launching pad for assistant coaches, which can make things tricky for head coach Nick Saban.

The Crimson Tide had six new assistant coaches last season, including both coordinators, and Saban told the SEC Network on Wednesday that too many of them had wandering eyes as Alabama progressed through the season and into the national title game.

"When the season started, I think we were great," Saban said during SEC media days in Hoover, Ala. "When we won the LSU game, it just seemed like people's own agendas starting to become more important.

"We have a lot of guys who wanted to be head coaches at different places."

Alabama shut out LSU 29-0 in Week 9 last season, but was challenged by Georgia in the SEC Championship Game and Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff semifinals before falling 44-16 to Clemson in the national title game.

Seven of Alabama's 10 on-field coaches would move on following that loss.

Offensive coordinator Mike Locksley took the head coaching position at Maryland; associate head coach/quarterbacks coach Dan Enos is the new offensive coordinator at Miami; wide receivers coach Josh Gattis is trying to open up Michigan's offense as Jim Harbaugh's new coordinator; and defensive coordinator Tosh Lupoi moved on to the Cleveland Browns.

"It takes a special person to stay focused on what they have to do now when they have a job somewhere else that's awaiting them and they have a responsibility on staffs. I'm not being critical of those people. It's just very challenging," Saban said.

"And we had a lot of that on our staff last year, and I think those relationships with players go a long way to keeping players where they need to be to do the things they need to do -- continue to prepare, practice the way they need to practice so they can continue to improve and get better -- and we just didn't do that very well at the end of last year."

Saban's recent coaching tree, in addition to Locksley, includes Jeremy Pruitt (Tennessee), Kirby Smart (Georgia), Billy Napier (Louisiana) and Lane Kiffin (Florida Atlantic).

His new coordinators this season are Steve Sarkisian, promoted from offensive analyst, and Pete Golding, who coached inside linebackers last season and held the title of co-defensive coordinator.

--Field Level Media