Kalen DeBoer hired as Nick Saban’s Alabama successor
Alabama has found its successor.
Kalen DeBoer will be the new head coach of Alabama, filling the role vacated by Nick Saban after the legendary coach retired this week, the team announced Friday.
“I have always had an incredible respect for Alabama football and its commitment to excellence,” DeBoer said in a statement released by the school. “The tradition-rich history of this program is unmatched across the landscape of college athletics, and I look forward to continuing that moving forward. Following Coach Saban is an honor. He has been the standard for college football, and his success is unprecedented. I would not have left Washington for just any school.
“The chance to lead the football program at The University of Alabama is the opportunity of a lifetime. My family and I feel truly blessed and look forward to becoming a part of the Tuscaloosa community.”
3Kalen DeBoer will be the new head coach at Alabama. Getty ImagesDeBoer led Washington to the CFP National Title game this season, falling to top-ranked Michigan, 34-13, in the finale.
Michigan had defeated Alabama 27-20 in overtime in the semifinals, in what was unknowingly Saban’s final game.
DeBoer finished his two-season tenure with the Huskies at 25-3, giving him a 37-9 mark at the FBS level.
3Nick Saban retired this week after a legendary tenure in Tuscaloosa. Getty ImagesHe’ll be tasked with replicating the success Saban had in Tuscaloosa, where he turned the program into a juggernaut, with six national titles in his 17 years.
“We are excited to welcome Kalen and Nicole DeBoer, and their daughters, Alexis and Avery, to The University of Alabama,” said Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne in a statement. “Coach DeBoer has proven he is a winner and has done an incredible job as a head coach at each of his stops.
“One of the things I told our team the other day is we are going to get someone who is not only a great coach with the Xs and Os, but also someone who cares about his players and someone I’d want my sons to play for, just like I would have wanted them to play for Coach Saban. We got that in Coach DeBoer.”
The hiring marks the high point of DeBoer’s rise.
He went 67-3 as head coach of his alma mater Sioux Falls, winning three NAIA championships.
3Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. and coach Kalen DeBoer talk after the team’s victory against Oregon in the Pac-12 championship. APHe spent time as offensive coordinator at Southern Illinois, Eastern Michigan, Fresno State and Indiana before taking over at Fresno State in 2020.
He jumped to Washington in 2022, turning the Huskies into national title contenders.
According to ESPN, Washington athletic director Troy Dannen attempted to make DeBoer one of the 10 highest-paid FBS coaches, offering to more than double his $4.2 million salary.
DeBoer signed a contract extension with the Huskies that would have taken him through 2028, but it includes a $12 million buyout he’ll have to pay in order to take over Saban’s old gig.
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