Reports: Alabama defensive coordinator Pete Golding heading to Ole Miss

Alabama will have a different defensive coordinator in 2023.

According to multiple reports, defensive coordinator Pete Golding is set to be the new defensive coordinator at Ole Miss. Golding has held the position at Alabama for the past four seasons after he was the co-defensive coordinator in 2018.

Alabama gave up just over 18 points per game in 2022 and was a top 10 in scoring defense. Opposing offenses averaged 4.6 yards per play and quarterbacks completed less than 55% of their passes against the Crimson Tide.

But Alabama gave up a combined 84 points in its two losses. Tennessee broke 50 in a 52-49 win over the Tide and LSU scored 32 in a one-point overtime win that knocked Alabama out of SEC West contention.

The Tide allowed fewer than 10 points five times in 2022 but also gave up 20 or more points seven times. It was a similar rate to 2021, when Alabama opponents broke 20 points in eight games. Alabama gave up 33 in its national title game loss to Georgia and also allowed 41 in a surprising loss to Texas A&M.

While it’s undoubtedly true that college football has changed significantly over the past five seasons, it’s at least worth noting that Alabama has allowed at least 18 points per game in the last five seasons after giving up 12 points per game in 2017.

It’s not out of the question that Golding won’t be the only significant Nick Saban assistant changing jobs. The New England Patriots are now officially searching for an offensive coordinator and current Alabama offensive coordinator and former Patriots assistant Bill O’Brien has been previously mentioned as a candidate.

Golding will replace Chris Partridge as Ole Miss’ defensive coordinator under Lane Kiffin. Golding and Kiffin didn’t overlap at Alabama; Kiffin’s only season as the Tide’s offensive coordinator was in 2016 and Golding arrived two years later.

Ole Miss allowed over 25 points per game in 2022 and opponents averaged 5.3 yards per play. Opposing quarterbacks completed nearly two-thirds of their passes against the Rebels as Ole Miss finished the season 8-5 after starting the season 7-0.

OXFORD, MS - NOVEMBER 12: Alabama Crimson Tide defensive coordinator Pete Golding looks on prior to a college football game against the Mississippi Rebels on November 12, 2022 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Pete Golding has been in charge of Alabama's defense for the past four seasons. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)