Alabama’s homecoming game against Missouri is a reunion of sorts for defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski. He spent 15 years coaching at Missouri earlier in his career before spending the 2016 and 2017 seasons with the Miami Hurricanes.
His time at Missouri helped set him apart. He coached four first-round NFL draft picks from 2009-15 there, including Shane Ray, Aldon Smith, Sheldon Richardson and Ziggy Hood.
“Coach Kool’s a beast, man,” defensive lineman Quinnen Williams said. “He’s a really great pass-rush coach and a run-stop coach. He just brings all the energy to the defensive line room. He just brings a lot of technique skills in pass-rushing, a lot of great hand skills pass-rushing. And just his energy in general.”
Kuligowski got his coaching start at Toledo after he was a standout offensive lineman for the Rockets. His head coach during his senior season in 1990 was Nick Saban.
“He was an offensive lineman and a really good offensive lineman,” Saban said. “He was very intelligent, smart, tough. And was a great team guy and a good leader. I think he’s got a lot of those same characteristics as a coach even though he’s coaching the defensive line, which is pretty much what he’s always coached. He’s been a good addition to our staff.”