Alabama coach Nick Saban has been in the market for a new defensive coordinator ever since Jeremy Pruitt took the top job at Tennessee in mid-December, and it appears that search is nearing a conclusion.

According to, current Crimson Tide co-defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach Tosh Lupoi is expected to be named the program's new defensive coordinator and defensive play-caller.

A former defensive line coach for Washington from 2012-13 and California from 2008-11, Lupoi yet to call plays in his career. While Lupoi has not been the top man on a defensive unit, he has plenty of experience on the Saban staff and knows what the legendary coach of the Tide expects.

He spent the 2014 season as a defensive analyst on Saban's staff, moving onto the field in 2015 to coach outside linebackers. Under his watch, the Tide have produced several stars from Lupoi's position group, including Tim Williams and Ryan Anderson -- both of whom notched nine sacks each in 2016 with Williams adding 10.5 in Lupoi's first season with the outside linebackers in 2015.

Alabama will open the 2018 season at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida, on Sept. 1 against the Louisville Cardinals