TUSCALOOSA, Ala. Alabama’s head football coach Nick Saban announced on Thursday the addition of Jay Valai to the Crimson Tide staff to coach the cornerbacks.
“We are happy and happy to add Jay Valai to our staff to coach cornerbacks,” said Saban. “Jay is an excellent young coach who has excellent knowledge and enthusiasm for the game. He is a really good teacher and an excellent recruiter who works tirelessly on his craft. We are delighted to welcome Jay and his family to Tuscaloosa.”
Valai arrives in Tuscaloosa after one season coaching cornerbacks at the University of Texas for then-defensive coordinator Chris Ash. During his time at Austin, Valai helped the Longhorns’ Josh Thompson earn the team’s second All-Big 12 award after 28 tackles, with three tackles for loss and one interception last season.
“Words cannot express how excited I am to have the opportunity to coach cornerbacks in the SEC in Alabama,” said Valai. “The decision to leave the Philadelphia Eagles was one of the hardest choices I’ve ever made, but the opportunity to work for Coach Saban, one of the greatest head coaches and defensive minds of all time, is truly a special opportunity. I look forward to calling Tuscaloosa home and getting started with some of the best defensive backs in the country. “
Valai served as cornerbacks coach at Rutgers in 2019 after spending the 2018 season with the Kansas City Chiefs, serving as defensive quality control and assistant coach of defensive backs. The Chiefs were ranked fifth in the NFL with 16 interceptions and fifth in completion rate (62.7) while ranked 10thth in the competition in defense of pass efficiency.
He spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons in Georgia as a defensive quality control coach, helping the Bulldogs win the Rose Bowl at the end of the 2017 season and secure a spot in the CFP National Championship Game.
Valai was a four-year letter winner in Wisconsin, where he captained the Badgers 2010 Rose Bowl team. He earned the All-Big Ten (coaches) award from the second team in 2008 and 2009. In total, he had 153 tackles, four forced fumbles and a few interceptions in 48 career games. He played in four bowl games with the Badgers, including winning the 2010 Big Ten Championship and advancing to the Rose Bowl that same season.
After his career as a player, Valai opened a sports performance training facility and for six years (2011-2016) worked with professional athletes from the National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Football League (NFL), as well as high school students. athletes.
Valai written in football, basketball and track and field at Colleyville Heritage High School. As a senior in 2005, he was a PrepStar All-American, first-team All-District 5-5A selection, and district special teams player of the year. A team captain that year, he was also named the team’s co-defensive MVP and its special teams MVP. Born in Euless, Texas, Valai and his wife Courtney have two daughters, Jayla and Kenzli, and a son, Jaxon.
While appropriate members of the Board of Trustees have been advised of the proposed terms of this proposed appointment, the financial terms remain subject to approval by the Board of Trustees. “
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