February 22, 2024

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Sources – DeBoer from Washington and Bama are negotiating the head coach position

Sources – DeBoer from Washington and Bama are negotiating the head coach position

Washington's Kalen DeBoer, who led the Huskies to a Pac-12 championship and a berth in the NFL National Championship Game last season, is negotiating a contract to replace Alabama's Nick Saban, sources told ESPN on Friday.

If a deal is reached, DeBoer, 49, would inherit one of the most coveted jobs in college football — and one of the toughest — replacing Saban, whose teams won nine SEC titles and six national championships in his 17 seasons in charge. The club. the school. Saban, who had a 206-29 record at Alabama, retired on Wednesday.

Washington athletic director Troy Dannen has made a strong bid to keep DeBoer, with a new contract that would make him one of the 10 highest-paid coaches in the FBS and more than double his current $4.2 million annual salary, sources told ESPN's Pete Tammel. .

DeBoer will owe Washington $12 million if he leaves. He signed a two-year contract extension through the 2028 season in November.

DeBoer emerged as the Crimson Tide's top target before three other potential candidates, Oregon State's Dan Lanning, Florida State's Mike Norvell and Texas' Steve Sarkisian, withdrew from the search and confirmed their commitments to their current schools over the past two days.

Washington hired DeBoer to revive its program after the Huskies went 4-8 in Jimmy Lake's second season as coach in 2021. With Indiana transfer Michael Penix Jr. coordinating Washington's high-flying offense, the Huskies doubled their win total during an 11-2 campaign in 2022.

Last season, Washington went 12-0 during the regular season and defeated rival Oregon for the second time, 34-31 in the Pac-12 Championship game, to reach the CFP for the second time in school history. The Huskies beat Texas 37-31 in the CFP semifinals in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on New Year's Day.

Washington lost to No. 1 Michigan 34-13 in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T.

DeBoer's hiring at Alabama would mark the culmination of a meteoric rise in coaching over the past few seasons for the South Dakota native. A record-setting receiver at the University of Sioux Falls, an NAIA program in his home state, DeBoer became the head coach of his alma mater in 2005. Over the next five seasons, his teams went 67-3 and won three NAIA national championships in 2005. 2006 and 2008 and 2009. The Cougars went 17-2 in the NAIA playoffs during DeBoer's tenure.

After serving as offensive coordinator at Southern Illinois, Eastern Michigan, Fresno State and Indiana, DeBoer replaced Jeff Tedford as Fresno State's coach in 2020. The Bulldogs went 3-3 in the COVID-19 delayed season in 2020, then improved to 9-3 in his second season. , which included upset wins at nationals UCLA and San Diego State.

ESPN's Pete Thamel contributed to this report.

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