Brian Daboll became the first defection from the Super Bowl champion Patriots on Monday when the tight ends coach officially accepted the offensive coordinator’s position at Alabama.
The move had been rumored for about a week and was confirmed when the school released a statement.
Daboll first landed in New England in 2000 after a two-year run as a graduate assistant under Alabama coach Nick Saban at Michigan State. He is now reunited with one of his first coaching mentors and one of Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s closest friends in the coaching world.
Daboll’s departure ends a successful second stint on Belichick’s staff. Daboll, 41, was the tight ends coach the last three seasons after spending the 2013 season as an offensive coaching assistant.
His previous stay in New England came from 2000-06, when he served as a defensive assistant and wide receivers coach.
He leaves Foxborough with five Super Bowl rings in his suitcase.
“I am honored to have the chance to return to the college game and work for Coach Saban at Alabama,’’ Daboll told the school’s website. “He basically gave me my start in coaching as a graduate assistant at Michigan State in the late 1990s and has always been a very important influence on my coaching career. It is a tremendous opportunity to work at an institution such as Alabama with its rich tradition and history of sustained success, and I’m very excited to get started.’’
Daboll originally left the Patriots to join Eric Mangini’s Jets staff in 2007 where he served as quarterbacks coach for a pair of seasons. He followed Mangini to Cleveland, where he was the offensive coordinator for a pair of seasons.
He then served as the offensive coordinator for the Dolphins (2011) and Chiefs (2012) before rejoining Belichick in New England.
“We are certainly happy to add a coach of the caliber of Brian Daboll to our staff,’’ Saban said. “He has a fantastic reputation in the coaching profession. He brings a tremendous work ethic to the job and has a wealth of football knowledge. Brian is a great teacher of the game, and someone who can relate to our players.’’
Daboll was a popular, fiery, and emotional personality in New England and his outgoing demeanor surely will be a hit when it comes to recruiting. He was thought by many to be the logical choice to replace offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels (his close friend and fellow MSU grad assistant in 1999) had McDaniels taken a head job this offseason.
As for who replaces Daboll on the Patriots staff, there are no shortage of in-house candidates and promoting from within is something Belichick has shown a penchant for.
Among the candidates would be assistant quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski and coaching assistants Nick Caley, Mike Pellegrino, and Cole Popovich.