News broke yesterday afternoon that the University of Georgia had hired Alabama’s strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran to be the Bulldogs’ special teams coach (later confirmed by the Georgia football Twitter account.)
BREAKING: Longtime #Alabama strength coach Scott Cochran is expected to join the #UGA coaching staff, as an on the field coach. Huge move by Kirby— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) February 24, 2020
Coach Feld has extensive ties to the University of Alabama and to Nick Saban as he served as a volunteer strength coach while current Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal and current Georgia head coach Kirby Smart were there as assistants. He also has ties to the state of Alabama as he began his career in that state at UAB (a school in the state of Alabama collegiate system in which the main campus in Tuscaloosa fully controls). Feld is an Alabamian by birth.
Coach Feld has ties to the SEC as well as he is familiar with the University of Georgia (worked there for three years) and holds degrees from Mississippi State (his wife reportedly does as well)
It helps his cause that he has elevated Oregon’s strength and nutrition program from the doldrums of past regimes. He has a national reputation because of that.
Feld’s would be predecessor (Scott Cochran) reportedly earned $525,000 in base salary last season while Feld earned “only” $310,000 in 2019 (according to the Oregonian)
In the South, home is a big part of the regional culture. When mama (in this case, Saban) calls you home. you tend to listen. There’s also the factor of happy wife, happy life. His wife is from Mississippi but seems to like it at Oregon.
With Oregon seemingly and eternally dragging its feet on Coach Cristobal’s contract where he makes a rather insignificant $2.7 million in base salary, I can see where Coach Feld can make the easy fiscal decision to leave. However, he seems to love it at Oregon as the leader of the S&C program so there’s that. Keep in mind the income tax rates in Alabama are significantly lower than the state of Oregon (this matters for people in or higher than his tax bracket).
My theory on why Oregon is slow playing Coach Cristobal's contract extension is that Oregon wants to protect itself with even stronger buyout language along with more proof of concept that Cristobal can actually win on a consistent basis instead of being an ace recruiter with little on field success i.e. the Taggart (which he isn't).
Another potential wrinkle is that Feld's top lieutenant, Shaud Williams could also be in consideration for Alabama as well. Williams is a former Crimson Tide running back. It's also likely that he would be favorite to replace Coach Feld if he were to leave for Tuscaloosa.
There are unsubstantiated rumors that Feld is interviewing for the vacancy soon.
Hold onto your hind quarters, Ducks fans. Coach Cristobal hasn't missed on his hires yet so let's have some faith.
Stay tuned to ATQ for the latest updates.