February 22, 2024

Alabama wasted little time find Nick Saban’s successor, hiring Kalen DeBoer away from nationwide runner-up Washington.

The powerhouse program tapped DeBoer on Friday to exchange Saban, simply two days after the 72-year-old coach introduced his retirement.

DeBoer, 49, is a former NAIA coach who led Washington to the nationwide championship recreation in his second season. He takes over a program at which Saban made that type of success an annual expectation.

“I’ve all the time had an unimaginable respect for Alabama soccer and its dedication to excellence,” DeBoer mentioned in a press release launched by the college Friday night time. “The tradition-rich historical past of this program is unmatched throughout the panorama of faculty athletics, and I sit up for persevering with that shifting ahead.

“Following coach Saban is an honor. He has been the usual for school soccer, and his success is unprecedented. I’d not have left Washington for simply any college. The possibility to steer the soccer program on the College of Alabama is the chance of a lifetime.”

Alabama didn’t disclose particulars of DeBoer’s contract pending formal approval of its board of trustees.

Saban introduced his retirement Wednesday after main the Crimson Tide to 6 nationwide championships in 17 seasons. He leaves huge sneakers to fill and outsized expectations on the program Paul “Bear” Bryant helped construct and Saban took to even larger heights.

Saban additionally received a nationwide title at LSU and his seven championships are a major-college file. The Crimson Tide have been in nationwide title competition nearly each season since successful their first in 17 years again in 2009, Saban’s third season.

The duty of sustaining that normal falls to a coach with simply two years of expertise main a Energy 5 program.

“Coach DeBoer has confirmed he’s a winner and has executed an unimaginable job as a head coach at every of his stops,” Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne mentioned. “One of many issues I instructed our staff the opposite day is we’re going to get somebody who is just not solely a terrific coach with the Xs and Os, but additionally somebody who cares about his gamers and somebody I’d need my sons to play for, similar to I’d have wished them to play for Coach Saban.

“We received that in coach DeBoer.”

The fast-rising DeBoer led the Huskies to a 14-1 file this season. Washington received the Pac-12 championship, beat Texas within the Faculty Soccer Playoff semifinals and misplaced to No. 1 Michigan 34-13 within the nationwide title recreation. DeBoer was named the Related Press coach of the yr.

DeBoer led the Huskies to a 25-3 file in two seasons after taking up a program that was 4-8 in 2021. He’s the primary Washington coach to win 11 video games in consecutive seasons and received Pac-12 coach of the yr honors twice.

DeBoer additionally has received nationwide titles, albeit a couple of ranges down in faculty soccer.

DeBoer led his alma mater, Sioux Falls, to a 67-3 file from 2005-09 and received three NAIA championships on the small, Baptist-affiliated college in South Dakota’s largest metropolis. He later had speedy success at Fresno State, going 12-6 from 2020-21, with 9 wins in his second season.

That’s a profession mark of 104-12 in any respect ranges, or 89.7%.

Chicago Tribune Sports activities


A day by day sports activities publication delivered to your inbox in your morning commute.

DeBoer turned the primary Washington coach to win 11 or extra video games in consecutive seasons after going 11-2 in 2022, twice incomes Pac-12 coach of the yr honors The Huskies additionally went 10-1 in opposition to ranked groups, and DeBoer is 18-3 in playoff video games as a head coach.

Alabama’s short-term expectations received’t change with a staff led by quarterback Jalen Milroe and a roster fortified by a string of extremely rated recruiting lessons.

DeBoer coached Heisman Trophy runner-up Michael Penix Jr. final season and brings an offensive observe file to exchange Saban, a former NFL defensive coordinator. He was Fresno State’s offensive coordinator within the 2017 and 2018 seasons and held the identical job at Indiana for a yr earlier than changing Bulldogs coach Jeff Tedford.

An All-America receiver at Sioux Falls, DeBoer helped the Cougars win their first nationwide championship in 1996. He then stayed on as receivers coach, returning in 2000 as offensive coordinator after a stint as a highschool coach in Sioux Falls.

At Washington, DeBoer signed an extension after going 11-2 in 2022, elevating his wage to $4.2 million with incremental will increase to $4.8 million within the final yr of the contract in 2028. It additionally included an elevated buyout of $12 million if DeBoer left for a brand new job.

DeBoer employed high-powered agent Jimmy Sexton, who additionally represents Saban, final yr. Saban obtained an eight-year deal in 2022 price no less than $93.6 million, together with some $11.1 million this yr.

“Kalen DeBoer has been an impressive chief of our soccer program and what he achieved in two seasons on Montlake will ceaselessly be part of our storied historical past,” Huskies athletic director Troy Dannen mentioned. “We’re unhappy to see him depart and we did all that we may to maintain Kalen at UW. However in the end, he decided that was in the most effective pursuits of his household and furthered his skilled targets.”