Ha Ha Clinton-Dix joins Nick Saban’s Alabama coaching staff after NFL retirement | News, Results, Highlights, Stats and Rumours

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 10: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix #21 of the Chicago Bears plays during the game against the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field on November 10, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)

Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Former Alabama Crimson Tide safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is ​​returning to his alma mater as director of player development on Nick Saban’s staff, he announced Friday via a virtual press conference.

Clinton-Dix announced his retirement from the NFL on Friday and signed a one-day contract with the Green Bay Packers, the team that picked him 21st overall in the 2014 NFL draft.

“That’s what my life is all about: coaching,” said Clinton-Dix. “To help these kids make great decisions and make the right decisions as they prepare to advance their careers and move into the NFL and other avenues they want to pursue after football is over.”

Clinton-Dix played for the Crimson Tide from 2011-13 and had seven interceptions, 15 pass breakups, a forced fumble and 98 tackles in 38 games. He also received All-America honors in 2013 and helped Alabama win two national titles in 2011 and 2012.

The 30-year-old spent four-and-a-half seasons with the Packers from 2014-18, winning a Pro Bowl selection in 2016 and notching 14 interceptions in 71 games (65 starts). The Packers brought him to Washington midway through the 2018 season.

After his brief stint in Washington, Clinton-Dix played for the Bears in 2019 and appeared in two games for the Las Vegas Raiders in 2021. He also spent time on the practice teams of the Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys, and San Francisco 49ers.

Clinton-Dix admitted leaving the NFL was a tough decision, via the team website’s Mike Spofford:

“It was part of this opportunity to work here in Alabama but also just to read the writing on the wall. Sometimes things don’t happen that you want and you can’t dictate your future until the ball games.

“It was hard. It definitely wasn’t easy. I still wanted to train, still wanted to play ball. But there comes a time in your life when you have to make those decisions and hopefully it’s the right one and you don’t look back and think wow I wish I could or would do it. That’s pretty much how I stand in life. I’m thankfull.”

Clinton-Dix landed the job on Saban’s staff during a recent trip back to the Alabama campus to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the 2012 Crimson Tide national championship. He had an interview with one of his former academic advisors that opened the door for him to accept the position.

The Florida native is happy to be back with Alabama and even admitted he still backtracks a bit on practice:

“Being part of a team is important to me and being able to help others. I still watch every game on Sunday. I have my iPad and we get all the games and all the games, so I still get a chance to watch football, to be with football. I also have a lot of friends in the NFL. I look at all these guys every week and it feels like I’m still a part of them and a part of the game without all the meetings and all the practicing and stuff.”

The Crimson Tide ended the 2022 season with an 11-2 record following their 45-20 win over Kansas State in Saturday’s Sugar Bowl. They will be looking to return to the College Football Playoffs in 2023.