Alabama Football Announces the Hiring of Karl Dunbar
University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban announced the hiring of Karl Dunbar Thursday to coach the defensive line for the Crimson Tide.
“We have known Karl Dunbar for a long time and he has a lot of experience coaching the defensive line in both the NFL and college,” Saban said. “Karl is very familiar with our program from an organizational standpoint as well as the defensive scheme we run. He is a fantastic football coach who brings a wealth of coaching experience while being a great asset in recruiting.”
Dunbar has spent 11 of the last 12 years in the National Football League as a defensive line coach, most recently with the Buffalo Bills in 2015 under head coach Rex Ryan. It was the same position he held the previous three seasons under Ryan with the New York Jets.
“I am really excited to get back into college football and to have a chance to work with such a talented group of student-athletes at The University of Alabama,” Dunbar said. “The program Coach Saban has built at Alabama is second to none, and the opportunity to work for him once again is special. I have a great appreciation for the tradition and history that surrounds Crimson Tide football, and I look forward to doing my part to contribute to this program’s continued success.”
Prior to his time with Ryan in New York and Buffalo, Dunbar was the Minnesota Vikings defensive line coach from 2006-11 after also working as the Chicago Bears defensive line coach in 2004. Dunbar helped the Jets make a quick transformation into one of the best rush defenses in the NFL, ranking in the top five in the league in 2013 and 2014.
During his time in Minnesota, the Vikings defense allowed the fewest rushing yards in the NFL (8,141) and led the league twice in sacks (2009 and 2011). The Vikings rush defense was the best in the NFL each season from 2006-08, marking the first time since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger that a team has ranked No. 1 in rushing defense three consecutive seasons. In his only season with the Bears, Dunbar helped a Chicago defense increase its sack total from 18 to 35 and its takeaways from 20 to 29, while also setting a modern franchise record for defensive touchdowns with six.
Dunbar also has three years of college coaching experience on the defensive line, working at LSU in 2005 and two years with Oklahoma State prior to that in 2002-03. He got his start in college coaching at Nicholls State in 1998-99 as the Colonels defensive line coach. He moved to LSU as a strength and conditioning coach for the 2000-01 seasons.
At Oklahoma State, Dunbar tutored defensive tackle Kevin Williams to first team All-Big 12 honors and helped him become the Cowboys first defensive lineman selected in the first round of the NFL Draft in 17 years. At LSU in 2005, Dunbar defensive front helped the Tigers’ defense rank fifth nationally in total defense (276.8 ypg) and seventh in rushing defense (94.8 ypg), while allowing just 15.2 points per game with 39 sacks.
Dunbar’s is a native of Opelousas, La., and played collegiately at LSU where he was an eighth round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He spent three years in the NFL, playing for the New Orleans Saints in 1993 and the Arizona Cardinals in 1994-95.
Dunbar graduated from LSU in 1992 with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. He and his wife, Pamela, have three children, Karmichael MacKenzie II, Mickel Angelle and Nickolette Alyse.
All such employment contracts are subject to approval by The University of Alabama Board of Trustees.