Oklahoma is set to name Zac Alley, the 30-year-old defensive coordinator at Jacksonville State, as their new defensive coordinator. Alley, who previously worked under Brent Venables at Clemson, is considered a rising star in the coaching industry, having earned a spot on the 247Sports “30 Under 30” list in 2021.
A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Alley began his coaching journey at Clemson, where he served as a student assistant from 2011-2014 before becoming a graduate assistant from 2015-2018. During this time, he was part of the support staff for seven years while Venables led the defense for the Tigers.
After leaving Clemson, Alley quickly climbed the coaching ranks and served as the defensive coordinator at two different Group of Five programs. In the 2021 season, he held the defensive coordinator role at Louisiana-Monroe before joining Rich Rodriguez’s staff at Jacksonville State, where he continued as the defensive coordinator for the last two seasons.
Alley played a crucial role in Jacksonville State’s successful transition from FCS to FBS in the 2023 season. Under his guidance, the Gamecocks’ defense ranked 33rd in scoring, allowing just 21.2 points per game. The unit also excelled in turnovers forced, third-down defensive efficiency, and red-zone touchdown efficiency.
Before his stint at Jacksonville State, Alley contributed to the revitalization of the defense at ULM, where the team, previously winless, finished 4-8 during his lone season. His impact was evident in improving ULM’s run defense ranking from 125th to 69th nationally.
Oklahoma’s swift move to secure Alley reflects their commitment to bolstering their coaching staff, particularly on the defensive side, as they aim to continue their football program’s success.