The Nick Saban coaching tree added another branch on Monday.
Gabe Giardina, a former University of Alabama place kicker who served as a graduate assistant on Saban’s first UA staff in 2007, was named the new head football coach at Albany (Ga.) State on Monday.
Giardina had served as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Charleston Southern for the past two seasons, and was part of the Buccaneer staff when CSU played Alabama in November, 2015.
The previous Albany State head coach, Dan Land, resigned in March. Land had compiled an 11-8 record in two seasons at Albany State. The Golden Rams compete in NCAA Division II and are members of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
“We are going to be a bright light in this community that alums and community members will be proud of by the way our young men compete on the field and by the way they conduct themselves off the field,” Giardina said at his introductory press conference in Albany on Monday. “It is our goal that all our players have the type of experience that truly transforms their lives and puts them on a path to do the same for others, all while bringing home championships to southwest Georgia.”
Giardina, whose father was a 17-year athletic department employee at Penn State, was originally recruited to Alabama by former coach Dennis Franchione and played for former coach Mike Shula. Following his senior season, Giardina became a graduate assistant for Shula and was retained by Saban in his initial Alabama season.