In a stunning announcement that reverberated through the college football world, Alabama’s legendary head coach, Nick Saban, officially declared his retirement on Wednesday, marking the conclusion of one of the most illustrious coaching runs in the history of the sport.  

Addressing the Crimson Tide community, Saban expressed gratitude for his 17-year tenure at the University of Alabama and emphasized the profound impact the program had on him and his wife, Terry. “The University of Alabama has been a very special place to Terry and me,” Saban stated. “We have enjoyed every minute of our 17 years being the head coach at Alabama as well as becoming a part of the Tuscaloosa community.” 

Reflecting on the legacy he leaves behind, Saban went beyond the mere tally of victories and losses. “It is not just about how many games we won and lost, but it’s about the legacy and how we went about it. We always tried to do it the right way,” Saban said. “The goal was always to help players create more value for their future, be the best player they could be, and be more successful in life because they were part of the program. Hopefully, we have done that, and we will always consider Alabama our home.”  

During his tenure, Saban secured an astonishing six national championships for the Crimson Tide, clinching titles in 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, and 2020. Additionally, he led Alabama to the College Football Playoff eight times since its inception a decade ago. 

Alabama Director of Athletics Greg Byrne lauded Saban as one of the greatest coaches in the history of sports. “Simply put, Nick Saban is one of the greatest coaches of all time, in any sport, and The University of Alabama is fortunate to have had him leading our football program for the past 17 seasons,” Byrne remarked. 

Highlighting Saban’s remarkable coaching achievements, Byrne pointed out that Saban’s teams secured seven national championships, 11 conference championships, and an impressive 312 victories. Furthermore, Saban played a pivotal role in developing an NCAA-record 49 NFL first-round draft picks and, most notably, hundreds of college graduates.  

“His impact is felt far beyond the football field,” Byrne added, acknowledging Saban as not only a consummate coach but also a mentor and leader. 

As the curtain falls on Nick Saban’s extraordinary coaching career at the University of Alabama, the legacy he leaves behind is not just one of championships but of a commitment to integrity, player development, and the enduring impact on the lives of those who were fortunate enough to be part of his program. The University of Alabama will forever bear the indelible mark of Saban’s influence, as the football world bids farewell to a coaching icon. 

In the wake of Nick Saban’s retirement, the University of Alabama swiftly introduced Kalen DeBoer as the 28th head coach of the Crimson Tide football program. The announcement, made by Director of Athletics Greg Byrne, came on Friday, heralding a new era for Alabama football.  

DeBoer, a decorated coach, earned six prestigious Coach of the Year awards in 2023 – the Associated Press, AFCA, Eddie Robinson, George Munger, Walter Camp, and Home Depot honors. His impressive coaching resume includes two successful seasons at Washington, culminating in a remarkable 25-3 record and a trip to the College Football Playoff National Championship Game in 2023, where he led the Huskies to the title match.  

“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.” 

Byrne emphasized DeBoer’s prowess not only in the strategic aspects of the game but also in his commitment to player development and mentorship. “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,” said Byrne. 

In his nine seasons as a head coach, DeBoer boasts an impressive record of 104 wins and only 12 losses. During his tenure at Washington, he guided the team to a historic 14-win season, clinching the Pac-12 Championship and making a memorable appearance in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game in 2023. 

Expressing his reverence for the Alabama football program, DeBoer acknowledged the weight of following in the footsteps of a coaching legend. “Following Coach Saban is an honor. He has been the standard for college football, and his success is unprecedented,” said DeBoer. “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.” 

The sentiment was echoed by UA President Stuart R. Bell, who expressed confidence in DeBoer’s ability to uphold the tradition of excellence synonymous with Alabama Athletics. “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,” said President Bell.  

DeBoer’s coaching journey includes successful stints at Fresno State, where he led the Bulldogs to the 2021 New Mexico Bowl, and the University of Sioux Falls, his alma mater, where he accumulated an impressive 67-3 record with three NAIA national titles and three national Coach of the Year awards. 

“I want nothing more than to see Alabama football continue to be successful, and Coach DeBoer is an outstanding choice to lead this program,” said Nick Saban. “He has a proven track record of success and is one of the brightest football minds. Coach DeBoer has an excellent understanding of what it takes to be a successful head coach, whether it’s coaching, recruiting, developing players, or building a culture. He has done a fantastic job at every stop of his coaching career, and I am excited to see what he will be able to accomplish in Tuscaloosa. Terry and I will be here to support Coach DeBoer and his family with anything they need.” 

As DeBoer takes the reins of the Alabama Crimson Tide, the anticipation is palpable, and the legacy of success left by Nick Saban serves as both a challenge and an inspiration for the new head coach. The Alabama football community eagerly awaits the next chapter under the leadership of Coach Kalen DeBoer.