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Saban Hires McElwain as Offensive Coordinator

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Alabama football coach Nick Saban hired Fresno State's Jim McElwain as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach today.

McElwain helped guide the Bulldogs to a 9-4 record in his lone season after they went 4-8 the previous year. He spent the 2006 season as quarterbacks coach for the Oakland Raiders.

Saban called McElwain - quote - "a phenomenal coach."

McElwain replaces Major Applewhite, who returned to his alma mater, Texas.

Fresno State averaged 419.5 yards and 32.9 points per game last season, after averaging just 338 yards and 23 points in 2006. The offense was even more impressive in the Humanitarian Bowl. The Bulldogs racked up 571 yards in a 40-28 win over Georgia Tech.

McElwain said in a statement that he is excited about the opportunity to join the Alabama staff.

McElwain has also served as an assistant at Michigan State, Louisville, Montana State and Eastern Washington. He played quarterback at Eastern Washington from 1980-83.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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