ATLANTA – Former Alabama player Freddie Roach continues to climb up the ranks as an assistant coach at Ole Miss. He enters his second year as the Rebels’ defensive line coach this fall. But his humble roots still trace back to his hometown in Killen, Alabama.

“He’s going to get mad at me for this one, but I don’t care,” Ole Miss defensive lineman Josiah Coatney said. “I guess some guy said something about him living in the trailer park when he was young. He was just making fun of him, teasing him. He’s our coach, so he gets a little bit of money. They get paid. So he basically bought the land that his dad lived on, bought all the property.

“So he said something, I can’t remember for sure. He said something about his house and his property, and Coach Roach said he was going to buy it one day. And he actually went and bought it. That was just crazy. It just shows you, you put your mind to it, you can get anything done. He’s a great guy, a great coach. He does everything an outstanding way.”

Roach had three stints in Tuscaloosa. He played linebacker from 2002-05 and was twice a second-team All-SEC selection. He returned as a strength as conditioning assistant from 2008-10. Before being hired at Ole Miss, he was director of player development during the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

“We’re really fortunate to have him,” Ole Miss coach Matt Luke said. “He is a rising star in this profession. The thing he does best is he has an unbelievable relationship with his players. I think that also carries over into recruiting. But the relationship he has with his players, his players love him. They trust him. I think to be a successful coach, they got to know you care with about them. I think they know that about Freddie.”

Reach Ben Jones at ben@tidesports.com or 205-722-0196.