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South Dakota native to coach Alabama Crimson Tide

MILBANK, S.D. – Milbank born and raised, Kalen DeBoer was officially announced as the new head coach for Alabama following a 14-1 run with this year’s Washington Huskies, winning the Pac-12 championship, beat Texas in the College Football Playoff semifinals and lost to number 1 Michigan 34-13 in the national title game. 

Winner of the 2023 Associated Press, AFCA, Eddie Robinson, George Munger, Walter Camp and Home Depot Coach of the Year awards, DeBoer comes to Tuscaloosa after spending the last two seasons at Washington. southDeBoer, 49, takes over for 72-year-old Nick Saban two days after he announced retirement. 

DeBoer says in a statement that he “would not have left Washington for just any school.” But he says the chance to coach Alabama “is the opportunity of a lifetime.” Saban won six national titles with the Crimson Tide and seven overall. DeBoer went 25-3 in two seasons at Washington and has a career record of 104-12 at all levels of college football.

“I have always had an incredible respect for Alabama football and its commitment to excellence,” DeBoer said in a statement released by the university Friday night. “The tradition-rich history of this program is unmatched across the landscape of college athletics, and I look forward to continuing that moving forward.”

Saban announced his retirement Wednesday after leading the Crimson Tide to six national championships in 17 seasons.

DeBoer led his alma mater, Sioux Falls, to a 67-3 record from 2005-09 and won three NAIA championships at the small, Baptist-affiliated school in South Dakota’s largest city. He later had immediate success at Fresno State, going 12-6 from 2020-21, with nine wins in his second season.

That’s a career mark of 104-12 at all levels, or 89.7%.

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

At Washington, DeBoer signed an extension after going 11-2 in 2022, raising his salary to $4.2 million with incremental increases to $4.8 million in the last year of the contract in 2028. It also included an increased buyout of $12 million if DeBoer left for a new job.

DeBoer hired high-powered agent Jimmy Sexton, who also represents Saban, last year. Saban received an eight-year deal in 2022 worth at least $93.6 million, including some $11.1 million this year.

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