New Alabama defensive assistant Pete Golding had never even met Alabama coach Nick Saban before interviewing with the Crimson Tide earlier this month.
His hire, which was made official on December 15, happened quickly. The whole process happened over the course of a weekend. It began with a phone call on a Thursday.
“The assistant AD (at Alabama) called and asked if there would be any interest in the job at Alabama,” Golding said. “I was like ‘Come on, it’s Alabama.’ My agent called the next morning and said ‘Coach Saban will call this afternoon.'”
Golding and Saban spoke on the phone on Friday, one week before the hire was announced. Saban invited the assistant coach to Tuscaloosa the next day, but the coaching staff at UT-San Antonio was hosting recruits on campus that weekend. Golding traveled to Tuscaloosa on Sunday instead.
He interviewed in person on Sunday night and was offered the job then. Golding was in Tuscaloosa that Thursday, one week after he had first heard from Alabama.
“My goal was to coach in the SEC,” Golding said. “Obviously, being the first (job) under Nick Saban at Alabama, it’s exciting.”
Golding’s defense gave up 17.0 points per game this season, eighth best in the country and the best mark among teams outside the five major conferences. Golding’s unit ranked seventh nationally in yards per game allowed per game (287.8), third nationally in passing yards allowed (158.3), 25th in rushing yards allowed (127.7) and 23rd nationally in yards per play (4.98). The Roadrunners’ defense forced 22 turnovers this year and only allowed opponents to convert on 34.85 percent of third downs.
He’s not permitted to provide on-field coaching at Alabama yet, but was seen on the sidelines of Alabama’s open practice in New Orleans on Thursday. He was watching defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt work with the inside linebackers.
Golding said his position on the defensive staff hasn’t been determined yet.
“(Saban) said we’re going to get through these two games, figure it out on defense, and what we’re going to coordinate positions and where we’re going to put people at and figure out what’s best for our team,” Golding said. “But let’s get through these two games first.”