Alabama Football: Crimson Tide Adds ‘Kicking Whisperer’ To Staff

Nick Saban has added two new assistants to the Alabama football coaching staff. According to Bruce Feldman of The Athletic, Iowa State Special Teams Coordinator Joe Houston and Virginia Tech Special Teams Assistant Jonathan Galante will be donning headsets with the Crimson Tide next season as quality control special teams staffers.

With punting issues and kicker problems all around, Saban is taking the initiative to improve his odds in 2019. Knowing the Alabama head coach, his army of assistant coaches is never far from fully staffed as it is reported that these two special teams coaches are set to join Alabama’s staff next year.

Here’s a plus for Nick Saban and Alabama fans: Houston comes with a reputation as a “kicking whisperer,” according to the Des Moines Register.

The former Iowa State special teams coordinator was a kicker at USC and following the end of his career, Houston served as an assistant at El Camino Community College before landing a previous job at Toledo. During his time at Iowa State, he turned kickers who suffered from inconsistency into All-Big 12 talents.

It is no secret that in recurring seasons dating back to 2012, special teams situations have not been a strong suit for Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide. Obvious sentiments of the Adam Griffith missed 57-yard field goal against Auburn in the 2013 Iron Bowl followed by arguably the most miraculous play in the history of College Football, the 109-yard kick six return by Auburn’s Chris Davis, should easily come into mind.

Looking ahead to 2019, this is a desperate need for a special teams unit that’s starting kicker made only 78 percent of its attempted field goals and extra points in 2018. Joseph Bulovas could greatly benefit having a kicking maestro in the locker room and if Saban is going to have all hands on deck to be a completely balanced team potentially en route to another National Championship appearance, this a big step in the right direction.