TUSCALOOSA, Ala.- More than 800 football coaches from every level of the game are attending the 2007 University of Alabama Football Coaching Clinic this week on the UA campus, learning tips from top coaches from around the nation including UA's own Nick Saban. The clinic, which concludes on Saturday, features several offensive and defensive presentations by members of the Crimson Tide coaching staff, including Saban.
"This is an excellent opportunity for our staff to build relationships with coaches of all levels, while rekindling some relationships with friends in the coaching profession who are joining us this weekend," said UA head coach Nick Saban. "It's great to get a chance to hear some of the best coaches in the game speak about their experiences, as well as a tremendous opportunity for our staff to share some things that can help others in the profession."
Several prominent guest speakers are participating, including former Crimson Tide head coach Gene Stallings, new Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio, Philadelphia Eagles defensive line coach Pete Jenkins and former Alabama star and NFL standout Cornelius Bennett, all of whom conducted seminars earlier on Friday. Stallings and Saban were the featured speakers at Friday night's after-dinner session.
Current Alabama assistant coaches Joe Pendry (assistant head coach-offense/offensive line) and Kirby Smart (assistant head coach-defense/secondary) were among the featured speakers during Friday's morning session. Pendry's seminar was titled "Organization of Teaching Â- Pass Protection and Run Game", a session that focused on effective teaching techniques for offensive linemen in both facets of offense. Smart's session was called "Alabama Secondary Techniques" and explained his theories on the fundamentals and techniques he is teaching to the Tide's defensive backs.
Bennett, a three-time All-American at Alabama (1984, '85 and '86) and the winner of the Lombardi Trophy in 1986, spoke about his experiences at Alabama and in the NFL for approximately 30 minutes. Other Alabama coaches who spoke Friday included associate head coach/running backs coach Burton Burns ("Running Back Drills & Fundamentals"), receivers coach/recruiting coordinator Curt Cignetti ("Wide Receiver Fundamentals"), defensive line coach Bo Davis ("Developing Defensive Linemen"), and outside linebackers coach Lance Thompson ("Base Zone Dog Principles").
Elite high school coaches from around the nation also conducted break-out sessions in Coleman Coliseum, including Allen Creasy (Athens, Ala., High School), Larry Strain (Woodland, Ala., HS), Jack Hankins (Thomasville, Ala. HS), Robert Prunty (Hargrave Military Academy, Va.), and Rush Propst (Hoover, Ala., HS). On Saturday, break-out sessions will be conducted by Stacy Luker (Sweetwater, Ala., HS), Marcus Boyles (Wayne County, Miss., HS), John Outlaw (Lufkin, Texas, HS) and Robert Herring (Newnan, Ga., HS).
Saturday's final day will include presentations by UA defensive coordinator/inside linebackers coach Kevin Steele ("Crimson Tide Defense"), UA offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Major Applewhite ("Quarterback Play"), and UA special teams coordinator/tight ends coach Ron Middleton ("Alabama Special Teams").
The clinic will conclude with a practice by the Crimson Tide slated for 1:30 p.m. at the Thomas-Drew Practice Facility.