DeBoer Releases First Statement as Alabama Head Coach
After the shocking retirement of former Alabama head coach Nick Saban, Greg Byrne got his guy less than 48 hours later. Officially announcing former Washington Huskies head coach Kalen DeBoer as the successor to the greatest coach in college football history.
"I have always had an incredible respect for Alabama football and its commitment to excellence," DeBoer said.
"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. I want to thank Director of Athletics Greg Byrne, President Stuart R. Bell, Chancellor Finis St. John, and The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees for their belief in me to lead this program."
DeBoer went 25-3 with the Washington Huskies over two seasons, most recently leading them to a national title appearance earlier this week. In nine seasons as a head coach across varying programs, DeBoer won 104 games while only losing 12.
DeBoer became the first Washington coach in program history to have back-to-back 11-win seasons, winning PAC-12 Coach of the Year honors in both years. DeBoer was also named AP Coach of the Year in 2023.
"We are excited to welcome Kalen and Nicole DeBoer, and their daughters, Alexis and Avery, to The University of Alabama," said Byrne in the press release. "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. He is ready to get to work, and we look forward to him leading the Alabama Crimson Tide football program for years to come. We are grateful to our leadership in President Stuart Bell, Chancellor Finis St. John, and The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees for their support during this process."
UA President Stuart R. Bell also released a statement following the hiring of DeBoer.
"I am thrilled to welcome Kalen DeBoer as the new leader of the Crimson Tide football program," said UA President Stuart R. Bell. "With great enthusiasm for the future, we are confident that Coach DeBoer will uphold the proud tradition and standard of excellence synonymous with Alabama Athletics. I extend my sincere gratitude to Athletic Director Greg Byrne for his exceptional leadership throughout this process. Additionally, we appreciate Chancellor Finis St. John and The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees for their continued support of our great institution."
Coach DeBoer is expected to land at Tuscaloosa National Airport at 8:27 CT, with a team meeting set at 9 CT. We will have coverage on Tide 100.9 at the airport from Wyatt Fulton.
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2023 SEC Championship Alabama vs. Georgia
Gallery Credit: Crimson Tide Photos/ UA Athletics