Kane Wommack Takes Charge of Alabama's Defense - footballivenews
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Kane Wommack Takes Charge of Alabama’s Defense



After working as a low-level assistant at various schools for four seasons, Kane Wommack received a major opportunity in 2014 when he was appointed as the defensive coordinator at Eastern Illinois.

The son of renowned college and NFL coach Dave Wommack, Kane opted to take charge of calling plays from the press box during his initial season with the FCS program. However, this arrangement didn’t last long.

Reflecting on that time in an interview with The Next Round, Wommack described feeling like “a duck on water,” with his feet moving rapidly beneath the surface. He noted the challenges of working in press boxes in the Ohio Valley Conference, where visibility of the entire field was inconsistent. As a result, he decided to never repeat that experience.

Following his tenure at Eastern Illinois, Wommack spent two seasons as the defensive coordinator at South Alabama (2016-17), then moved to Indiana for another coaching stint before returning to South Alabama as the head coach in 2021. He recently stepped down from that position to join Kalen DeBoer’s staff at Alabama, reuniting with the former offensive play caller from Indiana.

In the upcoming season, Wommack will resume calling defensive plays, a responsibility he hasn’t had since 2020. Unlike his previous role in the press box, he will now be on the field for the Crimson Tide.

Explaining his preference, Wommack emphasized the importance of direct interaction with players, stating his desire to observe their reactions and provide guidance between plays. He believes there is considerable value in being the point of contact for the players on the sideline during each play.

While Wommack has used hand signals to communicate plays in the past, this practice may become obsolete if the NCAA and SEC approve helmet radio communication for this season. There is growing momentum toward this change, with indications that the NCAA may recommend helmet communication as early as this week.

Last season, both of Alabama’s coordinators, Tommy Rees and Kevin Steele, operated from the coaches’ booth. However, Nick Saban has previously allowed coordinators to choose their preferred location. In the case of Kevin Steele, he played more of an advisory role, as defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson was the primary play-caller from the field, according to sources cited by 247 Sports last month.

Previous Alabama defensive coordinators, including Pete Golding, Jeremy Pruitt, and Kirby Smart, have all opted to call plays from the field.

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