By: Joe Koch
January 30, 2024
Photo Credit: Forbes
Following the end of the 2023 college football season, Alabama’s Nick Saban retired after 17 years with the Crimson Tide. Saban, who won six national championships during his tenure in Tuscaloosa, surprised everyone with his retirement as he had previously signed an eight year extension deal in August of 2022.
For Saban, "It was a hard decision. Look, I love coaching. I love the relationships with the players. The thing that made it more difficult for me is I felt like it might be the right time for me, but how it impacted the players, the coaches, all the people who work here in the building and contributed to the success of the team, how would it affect them? That was the hard part,” Saban said in an interview with ESPN’s Rece Davis.
Washington’s Kalen DeBoer is set to take over as the next head coach at Alabama. DeBoer, at 49 years old, most recently took the Huskies to the national championship in a loss against Michigan. Despite the loss, DeBoer has seen nothing but success as a head coach, boasting an impressive 104 wins against only 12 losses during his nine years as head coach across multiple divisions of college football. DeBoer spent two years at Washington, ending with a 25-3 record in total. With Washington moving to the Big Ten, it was surprising to see DeBoer leave even with new contract rumors in the mix. Washington offered DeBoer a contract averaging $9.4 million a year, but he turned it down for Alabama’s position (contract details TBD). However, he is taking the role of a legend and has big shoes to fill at one of college football’s powerhouses.
With the transfer portal being a huge factor in today’s college football, Alabama’s future is unsure as many players already have decided to transfer after Saban’s retirement. While DeBoer is an established coach already, the question remains: Is he prepared to coach the Crimson Tide?