April 18, 2024
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Nick Saban’s retirement final week after 17 years as head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide took faculty soccer by storm. 

Saban’s retirement got here shortly after a season that noticed Alabama win one other SEC Championship and earn a berth within the School Soccer Playoff. 

Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide is proven previous to the sport towards the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Nov. 25, 2023, in Auburn, Alabama. (Michael Chang/Getty Photographs)

His resolution despatched Alabama scrambling because it tried to discover a alternative for the teaching legend.


Alabama Director of Athletics Greg Byrne advised faculty soccer analyst and radio present host Paul Finebaum on Wednesday that he requested the gamers to provide him 72 hours to discover a new coach. Byrne didn’t require 72 hours, hiring former Washington Huskies head coach Kalen DeBoer on Jan. 12.

Whereas Saban will now not be strolling the sidelines, Byrne advised Finebaum that the seven-time nationwide champion may have a job within the soccer program shifting ahead.

“He has an workplace down the road at Bryant-Denny [Stadium],” Byrne mentioned when requested about Saban’s function. “He’s going to be an adviser for us. He’s been superior. He and I talked in the course of the teaching search.”

“Any person requested me, ‘Was he concerned?’ Man, I’m not very good. Many individuals know that. However I’m good sufficient to know when you may have an opportunity to have Nick Saban concerned with speaking about teaching and soccer and decision-making and management, disgrace on me if I don’t reap the benefits of that.” 

New Alabama head coach Kalen DeBoer provides his introductory speech throughout a press convention at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa on Jan. 13, 2024. (AP Photograph/Vasha Hunt)


Byrne added that DeBoer has “embraced” having Saban across the program. Saban spoke extremely of DeBoer after the rent was made official.

“I would like nothing greater than to see Alabama soccer proceed to achieve success, and Coach DeBoer is an impressive selection to steer this program,” Saban mentioned partially in a press release after the rent.

Saban’s retirement has precipitated variety of Alabama gamers to enter the switch portal, together with star security Caleb Downs, who was named a second-team All-American in his freshman season. 


Nick Saban waves

Alabama head coach Nick Saban celebrates after the SEC Championship Recreation towards Georgia on Dec. 2, 2023, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. (Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire through Getty Photographs)

Downs entered the switch portal on Wednesday and his father mentioned he’d wish to resolve on his future inside 48 hours.

“Our time is so quick, and we don’t have time to have a look at a whole lot of unknowns,” Gary Downs advised 247 Sports activities. “It must be earlier relationships with individuals. We need to try to discover a place with stability, the identical coach and similar coordinators, realizing it’s a must to be ready for change.”

“He simply turned 19. This can be a lot for him to course of proper now. You don’t go into this example serious about transferring.”