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Kalen DeBoer expresses his excitement about being Alabama’s head coach in SEC Spring Meetings

Alabama head coach Kalen DeBoer smiling in the indoor facility as the Crimson Tide is in 2024 spring practice.
Photo come via SEC Media Portal

Nick Saban did not represent the University of Alabama as its head football coach for Southeastern Conference Spring Meetings at Miramar Beach, Fla.

Kalen DeBoer was prepared for his first opportunity to take questions from the media on Tuesday.

He hit on several topics, but the SEC can tell how excited he is to be the successor of the seven-time national champion.

DeBoer understands he has work to as the Crimson Tide has not won a national championship in the last three seasons.

He has a motivated coaching staff and inherited a nucleus of players that are hungry about winning.

DeBoer knows what Saban built in 17 years, but he chose Tuscaloosa (Ala.) for even more than that.

He expressed that joy through several questions from reporters.

“I think it’s all about being excited to be here because of what this program has accomplished over not just Coach Saban’s time in the last 17 years but over many decades and the great coaches, the great players and staffs that have been a part of these great teams, and just building on it,” DeBoer said. “I think there’s always areas and ways where you can take what the foundation is and continue to add to it in your own way. I, of course, got to be who I am and be true that and put a staff around me that I think complements myself, the different strengths, the areas where you need guys in different roles, whether it be your offensive staff, your defensive staff and just having everyone pulling in the same direction, I think, is a strength of mine in helping them do that. 

“It’s just been awesome embracing everything that Coach Saban has done for this program and really celebrating what he’s accomplished over that time. And I know we have a full roster of players that were recruited specifically, yes to come to Alabama but also to play for Coach Saban as their head coach. And so I understand that fully, as well, and I want to make sure that that connection is always there and that they always feel like they can reach out to the coach that recruited them at the beginning. And also that Coach Saban knows he’s always got an open door to the program, as well. I’ve referred to it a few different times that this is our program. When I say ours, it’s all those people that have been a part of it for many years. That, of course, includes Coach Saban.”

Saban tied the legendary Paul W. “Bear” Bryant with six national championship at Alabama. 

The 72-year-old appreciates the open door DeBoer gives to him, but he is not going to overstep any boundaries. Saban has consistently stated how he likes DeBoer as a coach and a person. He truly feels the Crimson Tide is in good hands with DeBoer.

DeBoer built a winner at Sioux Falls (NAIA), Fresno State, Indiana, and Washington. He took a program in the Huskies that was 4-8 in 2021 before he arrived and made it a Pac-12 Champion two years later. DeBoer also had Washington playing for a College Football Playoff National Championship last season. He has more resources with the Tide and fans are pumped to watch him.

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Stephen M. Smith is the senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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