Alabama hires Mel Tucker as DBs coach/assistant head coach

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama has hired former NFL defensive coordinator Mel Tucker as defensive backs coach and assistant head coach.

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban announced the hiring on Thursday of Tucker, who has coached in the NFL and college for 18 years. Defensive coordinator Kirby Smart will return to working with inside linebackers after coaching the secondary last season.

Tucker was the Chicago Bears' defensive coordinator the past two seasons after holding the same position with the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2009-12.

Saban, who hired Tucker as a graduate assistant at Michigan State, calls him "an outstanding coach all the way around."

Tucker says "most of what I learned as a defensive backs coach came from him."

Saban also named Jody Wright director of player personnel.

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