After former special teams and tight ends coach Jay Graham stepped away from the program last week to focus on his mental health, it appears Nick Saban has found his replacement in Drew Svoboda according to Tony Tsoukalas of BamaInsider.

Svoboda took the same position at the University of Memphis in January, but will now elect to head to Tuscaloosa instead, after spending the past three years at Rice.

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In his first year at Rice, he served as the running back coach before moving to special teams for the past two seasons. He has been working at Memphis since they started spring practice this month.

Svoboda, a Texas native, coached Klein Collins High School for a decade before making the jump to to the college game in 2018. In his ten seasons leading the Klein Collins Tigers, Svoboda led them to five district championships and eight playoff appearances, compiling a final record of 93-24.

Although they only played five games in 2020 and went 2-3, Rice's special teams unit that Svoboda led ranked fourth in the nation in opponent kickoff returns, allowing just 15.65 yards per return. They allowed just 5.29 yards per punt return attempt as well, which ranked 41st in the nation.

Todd Watson, who was hired in February as a special assistant to Nick Saban, had been serving as the special teams and tight ends coach since Graham's departure, but it now appears Svoboda will take over these responsibilities.

As a former high school coach, Svoboda is now making the biggest jump of his career to coach in the SEC, and he is headed where nobody in the country will expect more from him than coach Saban.

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