Alabama football names Jay Valai cornerbacks coach to replace Karl Scott

Brett Hudson
Tide Sports

Alabama football has officially replaced all five of its departed assistant coaches. UA announced Jay Valai as its cornerbacks coach, replacing Karl Scott, who left to join the Minnesota Vikings staff in the NFL.

Valai coached cornerbacks for the Texas Longhorns in 2020 and has bounced around since then. He accepted positions with both the University of Houston and the Philadelphia Eagles before taking the job at UA. He started recruiting on the Crimson Tide's behalf before Thursday's announcement.

"We are pleased and happy to be able to add Jay Valai to our staff to coach cornerbacks,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said in a statement. “Jay is an excellent young coach who possesses outstanding knowledge and enthusiasm for the game. He is a really good teacher and an outstanding recruiter who works tirelessly at his craft. We are excited to welcome Jay and his family to Tuscaloosa.”

Valai began his coaching career as a quality control analyst for former UA assistant Kirby Smart at Georgia in 2016 and 2017. He was a part of the Kansas City Chiefs staff in 2018 and Rutgers in 2019.

Valai is the lone defensive coach hired by this offseason by UA, which had to replace four offensive coaches. Its new hires on that side of the ball are offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien, offensive line coach Doug Marrone, running backs coach Robert Gillespie and tight ends coach/special teams coordinator Jay Graham.

“Words can’t express how excited I am to have the opportunity to coach cornerbacks in the SEC at Alabama,” Valai said in a statement. “The decision to leave the Philadelphia Eagles was one of the hardest choices I’ve ever made, but the chance to work for Coach Saban ... is truly a special opportunity. I’m looking forward to calling Tuscaloosa home and putting in work with some of the best defensive backs in the nation.”

Reach Brett Hudson at 205-722-0196 or bhudson@tuscaloosanews.com or via Twitter, @Brett_Hudson