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Kalen DeBoer.jpg

Former Eastern Michigan football coach Kalen DeBoer to become next head coach at Alabama

DeBoer served as EMU's offensive coordinator from 2014-2016 and now replaces legendary head coach Nick Saban at Alabama

Former Eastern Michigan offensive coordinator Kalen DeBoer will officially become the next head coach at the University of Alabama after notifying Washington officials of his decision, per ESPN's Pete Thamel. 

DeBoer has spent the last two seasons as the head coach at the University of Washington. He held a 25-3 overall record in his two seasons, leading the Huskies to the College Football Playoff National Championship this past season while being named AP Coach of the Year. 

"I have always had an incredible respect for Alabama football and its commitment to excellence. The tradition-rich history of this program is unmatched across the landscape of college athletics, and I look forward to continuing moving that forward," DeBoer said in a statement after making the switch official. 

"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," DeBoer added in his statement.  

The news comes just days after legendary head coach Nick Saban announced his retirement on Wednesday, Jan. 10, who held a 206-29 record at Alabama and brought nine SEC titles and six National Championships to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 

As a head coach, DeBoer’s teams have gone 104-12 in his time. Before becoming an assistant at Southern Illinois University in 2010, DeBoer was the head coach at the University of Sioux Falls from 2005-2009, where he held a 67-3 record through five years in charge, had three undefeated seasons, and won three National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national championships. 

DeBoer spent three seasons at EMU as the team's offensive coordinator from 2014-2016 under Chris Creighton. He's also held offensive coordinator positions at Southern Illinois, Fresno State University, and the University of Indiana. 

In 2020, DeBoer replaced Jeff Tedford as Fresno State's head coach as he led the Bulldogs to a 3-3 record during the shortened COVID-19 season. In 2021, he would lead Fresno State to a 9-3 record with ranked victories over UCLA and San Diego State. 

The South Dakota native signed a two-year contract extension with the Huskies through the 2028 season in November and now owes a $12 million buyout as he heads to Tuscaloosa.