Alabama defensive coordinator Pete Golding leaves for Ole Miss to take on same role with Rebels, reports say

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Alabama defensive coordinator Pete Golding is leaving the program to take up the same position at Ole Miss, according to multiple reports. Golding will replace Chris Partridge, who was promoted to defensive play caller in 2022.

Golding, 38, was considered one of college football’s top up-and-coming assistants when he was hired in 2018 as UTSA’s defensive co-coordinator. He was promoted to senior defensive coordinator in 2019, but the defense has been inconsistent under his leadership. In losses to Tennessee and LSU last season, the Crimson Tide gave up a total of 84 points.

Now Golding will be tasked with rebuilding an Ole Miss defense that has fallen to No. 75 in total defense and No. 57 in score defense under Partridge. The Rebels have given up more than 40 points in two of their last three games, including an embarrassing 42-25 decimation at the hands of Texas Tech at the Texas Bowl.

Golding’s new position sparks a critical offseason for Alabama coach Nick Saban, who is coming off one of the most disappointing two-year streaks since taking over the program. The Tide lost multiple games in consecutive seasons for the first time in the college football playoff era and posted its worst SRS rating since a 10-3 campaign in 2010.

All eyes in Tuscaloosa, Alabama now turn to the future of offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, who completed his second year with the program after joining the Tide after a seven-year stint as coach- NFL leader. NFL Network reports that O’Brien is a candidate for offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots, but Saban could also choose to leave O’Brien after two inconsistent campaigns.

Ironically, Golding teams up with his former assistant Saban Lane Kiffin at Ole Miss. Kiffin worked as an offensive coordinator from 2014-16 but eventually left the team before the national championship game to take up the head coaching job at FAU.

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