TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama head football coach Nick Saban announced Thursday the addition of Freddie Roach to the Crimson Tide coaching staff as the defensive line coach.
“We are pleased and happy to have Freddie Roach return to our staff at The University of Alabama,” Saban said. “Freddie did a fantastic job at Ole Mis the last three years coaching their defensive line and we are excited to welcome him back to Tuscaloosa. Freddie played here and has been a part of our staff on a couple of occasions. He brings a tremendous understanding of what we do on defense, how we run our program while proving to an outstanding recruiter.”
Roach returns to Tuscaloosa after spending the last three seasons at Ole Miss where he tutored a defensive line unit that anchored the Rebels’ defense.
“It is hard to even put into words how exciting it is to come back to The University of Alabama,” Roach said. “This is a fantastic opportunity to return home and work for Coach Saban and my alma mater. I have a great deal of respect for Coach and his accomplishments as well as the rich history of Alabama football. I also understand the high expectations of both Coach Saban and the program. I am looking forward to helping continue that history of success.”
Nose tackle Benito Jones and defensive end Josiah Coatney led the Ole Miss front in 2019 with Jones recording 10 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks while Coatney added 46 total tackles, four quarterback hurries, 3.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. In 2018, Coatney (63) and Qaadir Sheppard (48) combined for 111 tackles and three forced fumbles. Sheppard produced a season-high 10 tackles for loss, while Markel Winters (4.0) and Jones (3.0) solidified the defensive front. During his first season in Oxford, Roach developed a pair of NFL Draft picks in Breeland Speaks (2nd round) and Marquis Haynes (4th round). The two combined for 14.5 sacks while earning second team All-SEC accolades. Haynes finished as Ole Miss’ career leader in sacks (32.0) and tackles for loss (47.5).
Prior to his time at Ole Miss, Roach spent three seasons in Tuscaloosa as the Crimson Tide’ director of player development (2015-17). His focus in that role was the off-the-field activities of Alabama student-athletes, helping them balance the demands of academics, athletics and community outreach.
Roach spent the 2013 and 2014 seasons as the defensive ends and outside linebackers coach at South Alabama under head coach Joey Jones. He helped the Jaguars end the 2013 season ranked third nationally in sacks per game and 21st in tackles for loss per contest, while the 2014 defense was second in the Sun Belt in total defense.
In 2012, Roach coached Murray State’s defensive line while also assisting with the strength and conditioning program. The previous fall, he coached the defensive line and was the director of strength and conditioning at East Mississippi Community College, helping lead the Lions to the NJCAA National Championship.
Roach’s first stint on the Alabama coaching staff came from 2008-10 as an assistant strength and conditioning coach, during which time the Crimson Tide won both the BCS national championship and Southeastern Conference title in 2009.
As a player, Roach was a four-year letterman at linebacker for the Crimson Tide from 2002-05. During his time at the Capstone, he was named the National Freshman of the Year in addition to earning freshman All-America accolades and was twice tabbed as a second team All-SEC honoree. A native of Killen, Ala., he earned his bachelor’s degree in human environmental sciences from The University of Alabama in 2008. Roach and his wife, Ashley, have three daughters, Mattie, Addison and Alexandria and a son, Freddie III.