Alabama HC Kalen DeBoer recalls the responsibilities he shouldered during his first coaching job: "We were building lockers for the guys"

Syndication: Tuscaloosa News
Alabama - Syndication: Tuscaloosa News

Kalen DeBoer took over as the new head coach of Alabama football in January following the sudden retirement of Nick Saban. He had just completed a successful season at Washington and went on to take the most difficult job in the whole college football landscape.

For Deboer, it’s been a long time coming. He took his first job in college football at his alma mater, Sioux Falls, in 2000 and has climbed up the ladder in the realm since then.

In his recent appearance on Always College Football, he explained the unconventional responsibilities he had at the program.

“I remember my first job when I took over as offensive coordinator in 2000, we were building lockers for the guys that summer,” DeBoer said. “The staff was building lockers. So, there's a lot of hats that you wear. I think things have certainly improved there because of the success.”

Kalen DeBoer pointed out a major improvement

Speaking further to Greg McElroy on Always College Football, Kalen DeBoer pointed out how the number of his full-time coaching staff has increased over the years. A host of them during his time at Sioux Falls had other jobs they did on the university campus.

“The last couple of years, we've moved from three full-time coaches to four on the staff. Some of them had other jobs. They were teachers on campus. Sometimes they were part of the admission staff.
“[Ryan] Grubb, in particular, was the head of the equipment. I think he had some student help, but he had to make sure the jerseys were washed, things like that.”

Ryan Grubb also went on to work with DeBoer at Fresno State and Washington. He also followed him to Alabama, but was hired by the Seattle Seahawks before he started his role as offensive coordinator in Tuscaloosa.

The lessons for Kalen DeBoer

Kalen DeBoer learned a whole lot of lessons as a coach during his tenure at Sioux Falls. However, two of them were paramount. He discussed this with McElroy as he spoke further on the show.

“I think what it really shows you is two things. No. 1, how important the people that you have on your staff here are and all those roles, and have appreciation for them, which I do. And they do it obviously on a much higher level than I could ever imagine.”

DeBoer is set to lead the Crimson Tide to their first season in the post-Saban era in the next couple of months. The college football world is anticipating to see how he fares in a program that is acquainted with winning.

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Edited by Akshay Saraswat
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