Kalen DeBoer named head coach of Alabama Football

Kalen DeBoer, recipient of six 2023 national Coach of the Year awards, becomes Crimson Tide’s 28th head coach. (Alabama Athletics)
Kalen DeBoer, recipient of six 2023 national Coach of the Year awards, becomes Crimson Tide’s 28th head coach. (Alabama Athletics)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Kalen DeBoer, winner of the 2023 Associated Press, AFCA, Eddie Robinson, George Munger, Walter Camp and Home Depot Coach of the Year awards, has been selected as head football coach for the Alabama Crimson Tide, Director of Athletics Greg Byrne announced on Friday. DeBoer comes to Tuscaloosa after spending the last two seasons at Washington.

“We are excited to welcome Kalen and Nicole DeBoer, and their daughters, Alexis and Avery, to The University of Alabama,” said Byrne. “Coach DeBoer has proven he is a winner and has done an incredible job as a head coach at each of his stops. One of the things I told our team the other day is we are going to get someone who is not only a great coach with the Xs and Os, but also someone who cares about his players and someone I’d want my sons to play for, just like I would have wanted them to play for Coach Saban. We got that in Coach DeBoer. He is ready to get to work, and we look forward to him leading the Alabama Crimson Tide football program for years to come. We are grateful to our leadership in President Stuart Bell, Chancellor Finis St. John and The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees for their support during this process.”

In his nine seasons as a head coach, DeBoer has won 104 games while only losing 12, which includes a 25-3 record with the Huskies. In 2023, he led Washington to the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, won the Pac-12 Championship and recorded the most wins in a season in program history (14).

“I have always had an incredible respect for Alabama football and its commitment to excellence,” DeBoer said. “The tradition-rich history of this program is unmatched across the landscape of college athletics, and I look forward to continuing that moving forward. Following Coach Saban is an honor. He has been the standard for college football, and his success is unprecedented. I would not have left Washington for just any school. The chance to lead the football program at The University of Alabama is the opportunity of a lifetime. My family and I feel truly blessed and look forward to becoming a part of the Tuscaloosa community. I want to thank Director of Athletics Greg Byrne, President Stuart R. Bell, Chancellor Finis St. John and The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees for their belief in me to lead this program.”

DeBoer became the first Washington coach to win 11 or more games in consecutive seasons after going 11-2 in 2022 and 14-1 in 2023 and the first to win a bowl game in his first season with the Huskies. That success resulted in back-to-back Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors. His Washington squads also went 10-1 vs. ranked teams, and he’s 18-3 in playoff games as a head coach.

“I am thrilled to welcome Kalen DeBoer as the new leader of the Crimson Tide football program,” said UA President Stuart R. Bell. “With great enthusiasm for the future, we are confident that Coach DeBoer will uphold the proud tradition and standard of excellence synonymous with Alabama Athletics. I extend my sincere gratitude to Athletic Director Greg Byrne for his exceptional leadership throughout this process. Additionally, we appreciate Chancellor Finis St. John and The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees for their continued support of our great institution.”

Prior to taking over at Washington, DeBoer spent two seasons at Fresno State, going 12-6 and leading the Bulldogs to the 2021 New Mexico Bowl. His first head-coaching stop was at his alma mater, the University of Sioux Falls, where he spent five seasons (2005-09) at the helm going 67-3 with three NAIA national titles and three national Coach of the Year awards.

Other coaching stops for DeBoer include 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).

DeBoer coached 2023 Maxwell Award winner Michael Penix Jr. as well as the offensive line that took home this season’s Joe Moore Award. While 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) and 25 first team All-Americans.

A 1998 graduate of Sioux Falls with a degree in secondary education, DeBoer was a record-setting football and baseball student-athlete. During his football career, he compiled 3,400 yards and 33 touchdowns on 234 career receptions – all school records at the time – and played on the 1996 NAIA Division II National Championship team. He also played baseball for the Cougars, batting .520 (still a school record) as a senior in 1998. His career average of .492 is tops in USF history, as are his 37 career homers and .944 slugging percentage.

DeBoer and his wife, Nicole, have two daughters, Alexis and Avery.

While appropriate members of The Board of Trustees have been notified of the proposed terms and conditions of this proposed appointment, the financial terms remain subject to approval by The Board of Trustees.