Southern Miss Defensive Coordinator Austin Armstrong Joining Alabama
Hours after news broke that Pete Golding will become the new defensive coordinator at Ole Miss, ESPN senior writer Pete Thamel announced that Austin Armstrong will join the Alabama football program.
When Armstrong was hired as the defensive coordinator for the University of Southern Mississippi, he was the youngest defensive coordinator in the country, according to his coaching profile on Southern Mississippi’s website. During that season, the Golden Eagles ranked No. 42 nationally in total defense (385.5) besting their mark by 18 spots in the country from the season before. His defense also ranked in the Top 10 in the country in first downs allowed (No. 2), fumbles recovered (No. 4), red zone defense (No. 6), defensive touchdowns (No. 7) and also ranked No. 15 in turnovers gained and No. 24 in passing yards allowed.
This is Armstrong’s second stint in the SEC, as he served as the defensive quality control coach on Kirby Smart’s staff at the University of Georgia in 2019. Also, Armstrong is no stranger to the state of Alabama as he played linebacker for Huntingdon College in Montgomery.
His coaching stops include West Georgia (2016), Georgia (2019), Louisiana-Lafayette (2017-18, 2020), then most recently Southern Miss the last two seasons.
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Armstrong’s hiring will likely be the first of several moves head coach Nick Saban and the staff will make ahead of the 2023 season. Still, Armstrong will have the chance to coach one of the most talented defensive freshmen classes in program history.
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.