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USATSI

Former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone will make a return college football as Alabama's offensive line coach, the school announced on Monday. Marrone will take over the spot left vacant by Kyle Flood, who left to join Steve Sarkisian's staff at Texas in the same position. 

"We are extremely fortunate to be able to add Doug Marrone to our staff," Alabama coach Nick Saban said. "He knows our new offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien well and will do a fantastic job with our offensive line. He has extensive experience as not only an offensive line coach, but also as a head coach at Syracuse and in the NFL with Buffalo and Jacksonville. Doug has an excellent track record for recruiting and developing players. I'm excited about his ability to help our players reach their full potential."

Marrone spent four seasons as coach of the Jaguars, first joining the organization in 2015 as an assistant head coach and offensive line coach before being promoted to interim coach in 2016 after the firing of Gus Bradley and getting the full-time gig after the season. From 2017-20, Marrone compiled a 23-43 record, the highlight being a trip to the AFC Championship Game in 2017 and the lowlight being a 1-15 season recently completed that led to his ouster and the eventual hire of Urban Meyer as his replacement. 

Prior to his stint in Jacksonville, Marrone made the jump from being the coach at Syracuse (2009-12) to taking over the Buffalo Bills. He led the Orange to some to some of their most successful seasons in a decade, including a share of the Big East championship in 2012. Marrone went 15-17 in two years with the Bills but opted out of his contract after the 2014 season when there was a change in ownership. 

"I have always admired the programs coach Saban has built, and I am excited to have the opportunity to join his staff here at Alabama," Marrone said. "Coach's program is the model of consistency, and I am looking forward to helping continue that tradition of success with an exceptional group of players and coaches."

The loss of Flood was one of many for Saban's title-winning staff in 2020. Sarkisian also took special teams coordinator Jeff Banks with him to Texas, and running backs coach Charles Huff was named head coach at Marshall. Flood's departure was significant considering that group was named the Joe Moore Award winners as the best offensive line in college football.

Much like Bill O'Brien's reported hire to replace Sarkisian as offensive coordinator, Saban tapping Marrone is the mutually beneficial agreement that brings experience from the highest levels of the game to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, while allowing those coaches to work with the best players in college football in pursuit of national championships.