Southern Miss defensive coordinator Austin Armstrong set to be on-field coach at Alabama, will leave Southern Miss after two seasons

HATTIESBURG, Ms – Southern Miss defensive coordinator Austin Armstrong is set to accept an on-field defensive coaching job at the University of Alabama after two seasons as defensive coordinator at Southern Miss. The role Armstrong will have at Alabama is to be determined.

When head coach Will Hall hired and named Armstrong, the defensive coordinator, Armstrong made history as the nation’s youngest defensive coordinator in the FBS. After two seasons with Southern Miss, he has captained an exceptional defense that has gotten notice from one of the nation’s top programs. An extraordinary leap in his career that is nothing but good for the young coach.

In Armstrong’s inaugural year as defensive coordinator at USM in 2021, the Golden Eagles ranked No. 42 nationally in total defense, elevating themselves from No. 60 the previous season. They were No. 2 in the nation in first down allowed; they were No. 4 in fumbles recovered, and their red zone defense was No. 6 in the country.

Then this past season, in 2022, the defense continued to improve. Armstrong brought back a veteran defense along with some added transfers and marked in the top six in the Sun Belt in scoring averages (23.5), putting them in the 40’s again nationally.

Armstrong has had experience on this level of college football before. He has coached under Georgia head coach Kirby Smart and Oregon head coach Dan Lanning in his graduate assistant days.

This move has been a shock to some of the Southern Miss base, but if Armstrong had an offer that was too good to accept, he would go. Getting to coach under Nick Saban and coaching for one of the most prominent universities in college football is an offer too good to pass up. We always wondered what Armstrong would do if he got an offer too good to pass up. And it looks as if Armstrong looks to take the next step in his career.