After 17 seasons and six National Championships, Nick Saban is retiring as the coach of Alabama football. The school is reportedly hiring Washington coach Kalen DeBoer to replace Saban.
Saban took over in 2007 with the Crimson Tide coming off of a 6-7 season under Mike Shula. Alabama went 7-6 in Saban's first season, before going 12-2 with a Sugar Bowl appearance in 2008.
Then, he brought Bama back to the top of College Football as they won the National Championship in a 14-0 2009 season.
That 2009 title was Alabama's first since 1992, when they went 13-0 under coach Gene Stallings. Saban went undefeated twice at Alabama, doing so in 2020 in addition to that 2009 season.
Saban's Alabama program only got stronger after his first title: they never finished a season outside of the top 10 in the AP Poll, and after the College Football Playoff era started in 2014, he led the team to eight of 10 playoffs, winning three National Championships under the new format.
During his time in Tuscaloosa, Saban coached four Heisman Trophy winners: Mark Ingram in 2009, Derrick Henry in 2015, DeVonta Smith in 2020, and Bryce Young in 2021.
Saban was a College Football head coach for 28 seasons, starting at Toledo in 1990. He left the college level for the NFL between 1991-1994 to serve as the Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator, and he left College Football again in 2005-2006 to coach the Miami Dolphins.
He had coached LSU before his stop with the Dolphins. He led the Tigers to the 2003 National Championship, doing so with future NFL players in running back Joseph Addai, wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, defensive lineman Marcus Spears, and safety LaRon Landry among others.
Saban is the first coach to win National Championships with two different schools. He retires with a 292-71-1 record as a college coach and a 15-17 record in his two-year NFL head coaching tenure.
Alabama is reportedly hiring Washington Huskies football coach Kalen DeBoer, fresh off leading his team to a 14-1 season in which it lost in the National Championship, to become Saban's successor.
DeBoer is 49 years old and he has a 104-12 record as a head coach, dating back to his days leading Sioux Falls from 2005 to 2009. He later coached Fresno State from 2020 to 2021 before taking the Washington job in 2022.
An offensive specialist, DeBoer's Washington teams captured attention for their ability to make big plays consistently. The Huskies finished the 2023 season 13th in the nation in points per game with 36.0.
DeBoer does not have any connections to Alabama, but if he can bring his near-90 percent career winning percentage and high-octane offense to Tuscaloosa, the Crimson Tide faithful will forget any points of contention they may have now.