Oklahoma Hires Jay Valai as Co-Defensive Coordinator
After one season with Alabama, cornerbacks coach Jay Valai has been named co-defensive coordinator/pass defense coach at Oklahoma under first-year head coach Brent Venables. The announcement comes after the Tide's tough championship loss to the Georgia Bulldogs. With the addition of Valai, Venables has completed his first coaching staff.
Valai has been known not to stay in one place too long. After his one-year stint at Texas, he was named Houston's cornerbacks coach and accepted the same position with the Philadelphia Eagles before joining Nick Saban's staff eleven days later.
Coach Valai posted a heartfelt thank you note on Twitter. He said it was an honor to be a part of the Alabama community and how amazing Nick and Terry have treated him and his family during their time in Tuscaloosa.
Valai played all four years with the Wisconsin Badgers (2007-2010), including captaining the 2010 Rose Bowl team. The former DB finished with 153 tackles, four forced fumbles, and a pair of interceptions in 48 career games, earning second-team All-Big Ten Honors in 2008 and 2009 and leading the team to a 2010 Rose Bowl appearance.
Valai started his first coaching job with the Georgia Bulldogs as a defensive quality control coach from 2016-17. He accepted a job as the assistant defensive backs coach for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2018 and then cornerbacks coach for Rutgers in 2019. Before he started coaching, Valai created a sports performance training facility for NBA, NFL, and high school athletes from 2011-2016.
Valai is considered one of the hottest up-and-coming names in the coaching world. This is the first turnover of the 2021 coaching staff so far. Offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien will interview for the Jacksonville Jaguars head coaching job, while the Carolina Panthers have also shown interest.
Coaching turnovers are nothing new to Saban, as he has to hire a few new guys every year. It could be at least half the coaches if it's a busy year. Nick can make the new staff look better than the last, no matter the turnovers.