According to an announcement made by the university on Friday night, Kalen DeBoer, who coached the Huskies to a Pac-12 championship and a position in the College Football Playoff National Championship game during the previous season, has been selected to take over as the next head coach at Alabama.
Taking over for Nick Saban, whose teams won nine SEC titles and six national championships over his 17 seasons at the school, DeBoer, who is 49 years old, inherits one of the most sought jobs in college football, as well as one of the most demanding ones. Sunday, Saban announced his retirement from Alabama, where he had a record of 206-29.
“I have always had an incredible respect for Alabama football and its commitment to excellence,” DeBoer said in a statement that was distributed by the school. “I have always enjoyed watching Alabama football.”
I am excited to continue this program’s tradition-rich heritage, which is unparalleled in the landscape of collegiate athletics, and I look forward to carrying on that legacy in the years to come. Being able to follow Coach Saban is a privilege. There has never been anyone else who has achieved the level of accomplishment that he has achieved in college football.
This is not a school that I would have attended if I had left Washington. An opportunity of a lifetime is presented to you when you are given the chance to head up the football team at the University of Alabama. My family and I are really grateful for the opportunity to become a part of the Tuscaloosa community, and we are looking forward to doing so.
Alabama formally announces Kalen DeBoer as new football coach https://t.co/LmcBk1quMj
— News 19 (@whnt) January 13, 2024
The Washington players and staff were informed by DeBoer on Friday afternoon that he was departing for Alabama. DeBoer arrived in Tuscaloosa via plane on Friday night, which was the time when he was anticipated to meet his new players.
This next Saturday at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time, there will be a press conference held to introduce DeBoer.
According to sources who spoke with ESPN’s Pete Thamel, Troy Dannen, the athletic director of Washington, made a strong proposal to retain DeBoer by offering him a new contract that would have made him one of the ten highest-paid coaches in the FBS and more than doubled his current yearly pay of $4.2 million.
But DeBoer declined the offer in favor of Alabama and the Southeastern Conference, which means that he will be responsible for paying Washington a buyout of $12 million after signing a two-year contract extension that will last until the 2028 season in November.
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Even before three other viable candidates, namely Oregon’s Dan Lanning, Florida State’s Mike Norvell, and Texas’ Steve Sarkisian, withdrew from the search and reaffirmed their commitments to their present institutions over the course of the past two days, DeBoer had already established himself as the most desirable choice for the Crimson Tide recruiting class.
“Coach DeBoer has demonstrated that he is a winner and has done an incredible job as a head coach at each of his stops,” said Greg Byrne, the athletic director for the Crimson Tide, in the release.
“I told our team the other day that we are going to have someone who is not only a brilliant coach with the Xs and Os, but also someone who cares about his players and someone I would want my boys to play for, just like I would have wanted them to play for Coach Saban. This is one of the things that I told them.
In Coach DeBoer, we have that quality. He is eager to get to work, and we are quite excited about the prospect of him being the head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide football team for many years to come.