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What Nick Saban said about Jay Graham's sudden resignation and how his position will be filled

Cecil Hurt
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Alabama coach Nick Saban said Wednesday that special assistant Todd Watson would coach special teams in the wake of Jay Graham’s sudden resignation.

 “It’s not an ideal time,” Saban said. "We just started that a little bit today."

”We’re going to improvise and adjust.”

The staff change was made necessary by Graham’s decision to seek help for what he termed on Twitter as “mental health issues.”

“I think you all saw the statement that Jay Graham put out,” Saban said. “Jay made a decision to do what he did and we’re going to support him every way that we can. We certainly wish him and his family the very best.”

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Watson joined the Alabama staff in February after three seasons at Tennessee where he spent two of those years as the director of football operations and his final season as the director of football programming.

Prior to his time in Knoxville, Watson served as the director of operations and high school relations at Troy from 2015-17.

Watson was one of the most successful high school coaches in Alabama before joining the staff at Troy. He posted a record of 80-36 in 10 seasons at Foley, where he coached former Alabama standout and Atlanta Falcons' All-Pro Julio Jones along with future NFL players such as Robert Lester and D.J. Fluker.

Watson's teams at Foley made the playoffs each of the 10 years he was at the helm of the program and reached the third round of the playoffs twice.  

Watson proceeded former Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt as defensive coordinator at Hoover High from 2000-04, helping the Buccaneers to a 70-4 record and four Alabama 6A state titles. He also spent time as an assistant coach at Bryant and Alba.

Reach Cecil Hurt at cecil@tidesports.com or via Twitter @cecilhurt

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