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Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Returning to Alabama to Start Coaching Career

The former All-American defensive back back with the Crimson Tide as a director of player development.

Former Alabama Crimson Tide safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix officially retired from professional football on Friday, signing a one-day contract with Green Bay so he could retire as a player with the Packers.

But he already knows what his next career step will be: Returning to Tuscaloosa. Clinton-Dix announced that he's joining Nick Saban's staff as a director of player development

"So that's where my life is headed is into coaching and helping these kids, making the right choices as they get ready for their career heading to the NFL, and other avenues they want to endure after football is over with," said Clinton-Dix, who spoke to the Green Bay media from a hotel room in New Orleans, where Alabama is preparing to play Kansas State in the Sugar Bowl on Saturday.

Katie Windham of BamaCentral reported on Thursday that Clinton-Dix had been with the team all week. 

The All-American was a first-round draft pick, No. 21 overall, by the Packers in 2014. 

He played four-plus seasons in Green Bay and was named to the PFWA's All-Rookie Team in 2014 and then earned Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro honors in 2016 when he led the team with a career-high five interceptions.

Before being traded to Washington in the middle of the 2018 season, Clinton-Dix played in 71 games (65 starts) for the Packers and recorded 14 interceptions. He added three more picks in seven postseason contests.

He played for the Bears in 2019, and was on the field for two games with the Raiders in 2021. In between he also spent time in the offseason or on the practice squads with Dallas, San Francisco and Denver.

"It was part of this opportunity I had to work back here at Alabama, but also just kind of reading the writing on the wall," Clinton-Dix said of his final decision. "Sometimes things don't happen that you want to happen, and you don't get to dictate your future as far as playing ball.

"It was hard. It definitely wasn't easy. I still wanted to work out, still wanted to play ball. But there comes a time in your life where 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 coulda or wish I woulda. That's kind of where I am in life. I'm grateful."

It was a recent trip back to campus that led to Clinton-Dix's return, when Alabama was celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the 2012 national championship. Following a discussion with a former academic advisor one thing sort of led to another. 

It worked out that two important things in his life, football and the Crimson Tide, will again come together. 

"Hell yeah, I miss football, man," he said. "And the beautiful thing about it is that I still get to be around ball. I think it's just being a part of a team is what I feel like is important, and being able to help others.

"When I go to practice with these guys at Alabama, I still do a little backpedaling and working out with these guys so I'm still around the game, I still love it, and it'll always be a part of me for sure."

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

  • Won two national titles (2011, 2012)
  • 2013 Consensus All-American
  • 2013 All-SEC
  • 21st-overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft
  • As a sophomore led the Crimson Tide with five interceptions
  • Despite missing two games, finished his junior year with 51 tackles and two interceptions

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