Tag Archives: Mario Cristobal

Sunday Notebook: Injury update, breaking in new coaches and more

Kevin Norwood (front, 83) is set to miss at least a portion of spring workouts with a toe injury. (AP photo)

Kevin Norwood (front, 83) is set to miss at least a portion of spring workouts with a toe injury. (AP photo)

While the wide receiving corps took a hit from moving of Christion Jones and Cyrus Jones to defensive back (click here to read more about that), it was also suffering through the absence of wide receiver Kevin Norwood.

Norwood, along with cornerback John Fulton, missed the first practice of the spring practice season with toe injuries and will likely miss more.

“Both guys will be OK in the summer and fall, but probably pretty questionable for the spring,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. “Kevin for sure. John probably for sure as well.”

Fulton had offseason surgery on his toe after injuring it in the loss to Texas A&M while Norwood continued to play through the BCS National Championship Game win over Notre Dame.

Back from vacation

Guaranteed money was simply too much to pass up for Jai Miller, who passed up both college football and college basketball to sign with the then-Florida Marlins after being taken in the fourth round of the 2003 MLB Draft.

After nine years of baseball, including 20 games with the 2010 Kansas City Royals and seven games with the 2011 Oakland Athletics, Miller has returned to his homestate to play for the Crimson Tide football team.

“I think anytime you’re off for awhile, it takes a little bit of time to transition back into it,” Saban said. “But I’ve been encouraged by his athleticism and his size. He’s a bright guy. He does learn. I saw him make a tremendous amount of improvement on the field today.

“Everything it new to him, every technique is new to him. I’m sure things are running a little bit together for him on the first day but I’m encouraged by how he might be able to help us.”

New direction

Alabama's new offensive line coach Mario Cristobal. (Photo courtesy of UA Athletics)

Alabama’s new offensive line coach Mario Cristobal. (Photo courtesy of UA Athletics)

In its first practice, Alabama welcomed in three new assisstant coaches for their first showing with the Crimson Tide: offensive line coach Mario Cristobal, wide receivers coach Billy Napier and defensive backs coach Greg Brown.

The trio replaced Jeff Stoutland after his move to the Philadelphia Eagles, Mike Groh after his move to the Chicago Bears and Jeremy Pruitt after his move to Florida State, respectively.

“All those coaches were out there coaching and teaching every play,” Saban said. “I’m encouraged by the energy and enthusiasm they’re bringing, and the new ideas they’re bringing. It’s all been positive from my standpoint.”

But Saban recognized that they were in fact thrown into a fire of sorts.

“I think we try to cover as many things as we possibly can in terms of what the expectations are and trying to define how we do things, what we want, and all that,” Saban said. “But inevitably, until you do it, you probably aren’t going to hit every circumstance that can possibly come up, and how you’d like to manage it and what you’d like to do. But I thought the energy and enthusiasm was good.”

Saban visited Moore before his departure for Duke

Alabama Athletic Director Mal Moore, currently undergoing testing at Duke University Medical Center with pulmonary issues, received a visit from Saban on Wednesday before he was transported to Duke.

“I know Mal’s in good spirits. I went to see him on Wednesday,” Saban said. “I think he’s in great hands with a lot of good people and I know he’s got a lot of family around him that are being very supportive, including his daughter Heather.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with him and certainly appreciate all of our fans and everyone out there who supports Alabama football to have a thought and prayer for Mal and his family as well.”

Nick Saban Press Conference Video: March 16th, 2013

In his first press conference of the spring practice schedule, Alabama head coach Nick Saban talks about new assistant coaches in their first practice with Alabama, certain players experimenting with new positions, the health of Athletic Director Mal Moore and more. Enjoy.

It’s official: Mario Cristobal hired by Alabama

The University of Alabama Athletic Department officially announced the hiring of Mario Cristobal as the offensive line coach and assistant head coach, replacing Jeff Stoutland.

“We are very pleased to announce the addition of Mario Cristobal to our staff,” Saban said. “He has an outstanding reputation as both a coach and a recruiter. He will be a great fit in our organization and I think our players will respond to his positive attitude and energy.

“This is a very important hire in terms of working with our offensive line and we feel fortunate that we were able to hire a coach of Mario’s caliber. We want to welcome Mario and his family to the University of Alabama and we are excited to have them here.”

Cristobal won the Sun Belt Coach of the Year Award and the Sun Bely Conference Championship as the head coach at Florida International from 2007-2012. Cristobal was fired from FIU after the 2012 season and was hired as the tight ends coach at Miami, Cristobal’s alma mater, on Jan. 10, 2013.

Cristobal was previously an assistant at Rutgers and Miami before taking the FIU head coaching job in 2007.