Kalen DeBoer Takes Helm as Alabama Football Head Coach

Photo of Kalen-DeBoer set as the Alabama football Head Coach.

On Friday, Greg Byrne, the Director of Athletics, revealed that Kalen DeBoer, the recipient of numerous coaching accolades in 2023, such as the Associated Press, AFCA, Eddie Robinson, George Munger, Walter Camp, and Home Depot Coach of the Year awards, has been appointed as the head football coach for the Alabama Crimson Tide. DeBoer, who comes from Washington where he spent the last two seasons, brings a well-established history of success.

Byrne expressed his excitement in welcoming Kalen, along with Nicole, Alexis, and Avery DeBoer, to The University of Alabama. He underscored Coach DeBoer’s impressive track record and leadership attributes, highlighting the significance of having not only a skilled strategist but also someone genuinely invested in the players’ well-being.

Byrne conveyed his confidence in DeBoer’s capacity to lead the Alabama Crimson Tide football program, extending gratitude to university leadership, including President Stuart Bell, Chancellor Finis St. John, and The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees, for their support throughout the selection process.

In his nine-year tenure as a head coach, DeBoer has accumulated an impressive record of 104 wins and only 12 losses, including a remarkable 25-3 performance with the Huskies. His notable accomplishments in 2023 with Washington encompass guiding the team to the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, securing the Pac-12 Championship, and establishing a program record with a season-high 14 wins.

Expressing his admiration for the excellence of Alabama football, DeBoer acknowledged the unparalleled tradition and history of the program in college athletics. Assuming the role after Coach Saban is a source of great honor for DeBoer, recognizing Saban’s unmatched success in college football. The decision to leave Washington was not made lightly, as DeBoer emphasized that the chance to lead the football program at The University of Alabama is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Thankful for the trust placed in him by Director of Athletics Greg Byrne, President Stuart R. Bell, Chancellor Finis St. John, and The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees, DeBoer and his family eagerly anticipate integrating into the Tuscaloosa community.

DeBoer’s time at Washington included significant milestones, such as being the first coach to secure 11 or more wins in consecutive seasons (11-2 in 2022 and 14-1 in 2023) and achieving a bowl game victory in his inaugural season with the Huskies. This success earned him consecutive Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors. Furthermore, his Washington teams displayed a robust record of 10-1 against ranked opponents, and he boasts an impressive 18-3 record in playoff games as a head coach.

“I am pleased to introduce Kalen DeBoer as the newly appointed head of the Crimson Tide football program,” announced UA President Stuart R. Bell. “With a strong sense of optimism for the future, we are confident that Coach DeBoer will uphold the prestigious tradition and standard of excellence synonymous with Alabama Athletics. My sincere appreciation goes to Athletic Director Greg Byrne for his exceptional leadership throughout this selection process. Additionally, we express our gratitude to Chancellor Finis St. John and The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees for their steadfast support of our institution.”

Prior to taking on his role at Washington, DeBoer spent two seasons at Fresno State, achieving a 12-6 record and guiding the Bulldogs to the 2021 New Mexico Bowl. His first head coaching position was at his alma mater, the University of Sioux Falls, where he led for five seasons (2005-09), accumulating an impressive 67-3 record with three NAIA national titles and three national Coach of the Year awards.

  • DeBoer’s coaching journey includes stints at Indiana (2019 – Offensive
  • Coordinator/Quarterbacks), Fresno State (2017-18 – Offensive
  • Coordinator/Quarterbacks), Eastern Michigan (2014-16 – Offensive
  • Coordinator/Quarterbacks), Southern Illinois (2010-13 – Offensive
  • Coordinator/Wide Receivers), Sioux Falls (2000-04 – Offensive
  • Coordinator; 1997 – Wide Receivers), and Washington HS (1998-99 – Assistant Coach).

He coached the 2023 Maxwell Award winner, Michael Penix Jr., and the offensive line that earned this season’s Joe Moore Award. During his tenure at Sioux Falls, he developed three NAIA National Player of the Year winners in quarterbacks Lorenzo Brown (2009) and Chad Cavender (2007) and running back Nick Kortan (2002), along with 25 first-team All-Americans.

A 1998 graduate of Sioux Falls with a degree in secondary education, DeBoer set records as a football and baseball student-athlete. His football career included 3,400 yards and 33 touchdowns on 234 career receptions – all school records at the time – and he played on the 1996 NAIA Division II National Championship team. In baseball, he batted .520 (still a school record) as a senior in 1998, with a career average of .492, along with 37 career home runs and a .944 slugging percentage, all topping USF history.

DeBoer, along with his wife Nicole, is a proud parent to two daughters, Alexis and Avery. While the relevant members of The Board of Trustees have been informed of the proposed terms and conditions of this appointment, the financial aspects remain subject to approval by The Board of Trustees.


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