In what is described as a “seismic move,” Alabama’s longtime strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran is leaving the Crimson Tide to join the Georgia Bulldogs.
AL.com‘s Matt Zenitz revealed that Cochran had been a coach of interest to Kirby Smart’s staff. The two are close friends and Smart even tried to sign Cochran five years ago. While Cochran didn’t go, Smart didn’t give up and now he’s got his man. Cochran will be the special teams coordinator under Smart.
The news reverberated across the SEC and college football landscape. To the outsider, Georgia signing Alabama’s strength and conditioning coach sounds minor, but this is a big deal. Cochran and Nick Saban started at Alabama together in 2007 and had been there ever since. Cochran was appreciated within Tuscaloosa but was possibly an unsung hero to those on the outside while his input helped the Crimson Tide’s success.
Reaction has been a mix of surprise and acknowledgement that this is big.
Scott Cochran's value goes far beyond being a good S&C coach. Behind the scenes, he's Saban's top problem solver/good cop when it comes to guys thinking about transferring, worried about playing time, whatever. He's beloved by players for a reason.
— John Talty (@JTalty) February 24, 2020
Scott Cochran might be the biggest hit to a Nick Saban Alabama staff we have seen. Massive loss. Goes much further than Strength & Conditioning.
— Cole Cubelic (@colecubelic) February 24, 2020
Saban losing Cochran — who's been there since Day 1 — is a far bigger deal than any coordinator/position coach who's ever left. He's the constant.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) February 24, 2020
Wow. Thought Cochran might be immovable from Bama. https://t.co/WfCod3dmc0
— Pat Forde (@ByPatForde) February 24, 2020
“This is a seismic move,” says @JTalty on reports Scott Cochran is leaving Alabama staff to join Kirby Smart at Georgia.
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) February 24, 2020
According to AL.com, Cochran had expressed interest in someday being a head coach and was putting out feelers to move up the ladder. In fact, sources reported he reached out to Lane Kiffin at Ole Miss about a potential job. So moving to Georgia and becoming a special teams coordinator might be bad news for Alabama but for Cochran (and Georgia), it’s a positive step for him on his head coach aspirations.