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2024 Alabama football is just bizarro 2019 Indiana football

It can always get weirder in Bloomington.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: APR 12 Indiana Spring Game Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Indiana is not a program known for football success.

Rather it is the losingest at the power five (well, four now I guess) level. So naturally one of the few times Indiana experienced success, the 2019 and 2020 seasons, all the good coaches got poached.

The first to go were two names you may not know: David Ballou and Matt Rhea, members of Indiana’s strength staff.

Strength and conditioning is one of the most vital aspects of an athletics program. They typically spend more time with the athletes than anyone else on staff and Indiana was lucky to have them.

Too lucky. They were evidently good enough for Nick Saban himself. He hired them in March 2020 and immediately won a national championship the next January.

Other names on those staffs?

  • Offensive coordinator Kalen DeBoer
  • Defensive coordinator Kane Wommack
  • Special teams coordinator William Inge
  • Tight ends coach Nick Sheridan

DeBoer was hired as the head coach at Fresno State, where he’d previously been the offensive coordinator, in 2020. Wommack was hired as the head coach at South Alabama in 2021. Inge followed DeBoer to Fresno State as defensive coordinator. Sheridan was promoted to offensive coordinator at Indiana before being fired in 2022.

In 2022, DeBoer was hired as the head coach at Washington. Inge and Sheridan joined him, the former as a co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach and the latter as tight ends coach.

Now it’s obvious what happened in 2023, you probably know.

DeBoer landed former Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (who, by the way, was recruited by Sheridan when he was the quarterbacks coach in 2018) out of the transfer portal in 2022. Together they tore the Pac-12 to shreds, nearly winning Penix the Heisman and Washington the national title as a result.

They lose to Michigan whose backup quarterback, Jack Tuttle, was the third string quarterback at Indiana in 2019. Also on that Wolverines team? Former Hoosier tight end AJ Barner, who was obviously coached by Sheridan.

DeBoer took the Alabama job where he...

  • retained Ballou and Rhea
  • (reportedly) hired Nick Sheridan as tight ends coach
  • hired Kane Wommack as defensive coordinator

So, if you’re not keeping track, Alabama has hired

  • Indiana’s 2019 offensive coordinator as head coach
  • Indiana’s 2019 defensive coordinator as its own defensive coordinator
  • Indiana’s 2019 strength and conditioning staff as its own strength and conditioning staff
  • Indiana’s 2019 tight ends coach as its own tight ends coach

It remains to be seen if Inge will join DeBoer in Tuscaloosa. But still. Three of Indiana’s most important staff members are working nearly the same roles at Alabama as they did with the Hoosiers.

The only change being DeBoer as head coach.