Washington’s Kalen DeBoer Negotiating Contract to Replace Alabama’s Nick Saban: Source

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Washington coach Kalen DeBoer is currently negotiating a contract to replace legendary Alabama coach Nick Saban, sources told ESPN on Friday. DeBoer, who led the Huskies to a Pac-12 championship and a spot in the College Football Playoff National Championship game this past season, would inherit one of the most coveted and challenging jobs in college football if the deal goes through.

Saban, who retired on Wednesday after 17 seasons at Alabama, left behind an impressive legacy with nine SEC titles and six national championships under his belt. DeBoer, 49, possesses a strong coaching record of his own and would face high expectations in filling Saban’s shoes.

Washington athletic director Troy Dannen is making a substantial effort to retain DeBoer, offering a new contract that would place him among the top 10 highest-paid coaches in the FBS. The proposed deal would more than double DeBoer’s current annual salary of $4.2 million.

If DeBoer chooses to leave Washington, he would owe the university a $12 million buyout. However, DeBoer has already emerged as the top candidate for the Crimson Tide, with other potential candidates like Dan Lanning from Oregon, Mike Norvell from Florida State, and Steve Sarkisian from Texas withdrawing their names from the search.

DeBoer’s success at Washington has been notable. He was hired to revive the program after a disappointing 4-8 season under previous coach Jimmy Lake. In his first year, DeBoer orchestrated an impressive 11-2 campaign, with standout performances from Indiana transfer Michael Penix Jr. leading the high-flying Husky offense.

During the 2022 season, Washington achieved an undefeated 12-0 regular season record. They secured a second victory against rival Oregon, winning the Pac-12 championship game 34-31 and earning a spot in the College Football Playoff for only the second time in school history. Washington’s journey culminated with a 37-31 victory over Texas in the CFP semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl, propelling them to the CFP National Championship game.

DeBoer’s potential move to Alabama would be the pinnacle of his coaching career. Beginning his journey as a record-setting receiver at the University of Sioux Falls, DeBoer went on to become the head coach of his alma mater and achieved remarkable success, winning three NAIA national championships. After serving as an offensive coordinator at multiple universities, he took over as Fresno State’s head coach in 2020 and led the team to a 9-3 record in his second season.

In summary, Kalen DeBoer is currently in negotiations to replace Nick Saban as the next head coach of Alabama football. Washington is making significant efforts to retain him, offering a lucrative contract extension. DeBoer’s coaching prowess and success at Washington make him an attractive candidate for the prestigious position. However, if he does join Alabama, he will face immense pressure to continue the program’s winning tradition.