February 22, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Kalen De Boer greets fans at the Alabama airport in a wild scene

Kalen De Boer greets fans at the Alabama airport in a wild scene

College football

Kalen DeBoer got a hero's welcome at Alabama.

The former Washington coach, and now the new leader of the Crimson Tide, stepped off a plane at Tuscaloosa National Airport on Friday night amid a frenzy of supporters and media members.

Videos and photos from the scene showed DeBoer, 49, exiting the plane and waving to the crowd, which eventually walked toward them, slapping his hands and pumping his fists from the other side of the barbed wire fence.

DeBoer even posed for a photo With one group on the runway.

He was eventually escorted from the airport to the Tuscaloosa campus By the University of Alabama Police Department.

Quarterback Jalen Milroe was also seen waving to the fans He was scheduled to join a meeting with the players and the new coach at the school.

New Alabama football coach Calen DeBoer, center, waves to cheering fans as he gets off the plane at Tuscaloosa National Airport — two days after former coach Nick Saban announced his retirement. AP
Alabama athletics director Greg Byrne, right, greets fans as they wait for new Alabama football coach Calen DeBoer to arrive at Tuscaloosa National Airport — two days after former coach Nick Saban announced his retirement. AP

It was a raucous scene for SEC fans, who chanted “Roll Tide, Roll,” as they waited to see the first glimpse of their new coach.

DeBoer will have a high profile to replace the legendary Nick Saban, who went 206-29 and won six national titles in 17 seasons at Alabama.

Football's newest coach is coming off an impressive season in Washington after winning the Pac-12 Championship before falling short to Michigan in the College Football Playoff title game.

Kalen DeBoer was all smiles upon landing at Alabama. Charlie Potter/X
New Alabama football coach Calen DeBoer, center, waves to cheering fans. AP
Kalen De Boer gave the fans a high-five and gave them a fist bump. Charlie Potter/X

In a statement issued on Friday, de Boer expressed his excitement at joining the popular programme.

“I have always had incredible respect for Alabama football and its commitment to excellence,” De Boer said in a statement released by the school. “The rich history and tradition of this program is unparalleled in 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 unparalleled. I would not leave Washington for any school .

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“The opportunity to lead the University of Alabama football program is the opportunity of a lifetime.”

DeBoer went 25-3 in his two seasons with the Huskies, winning two bowl games.

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