"He always got an open door to the program": Alabama HC Kalen DeBoer gives open invite to Nick Saban to guide Crimson Tide crew

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"He always got an open door to the program": Alabama HC Kalen DeBoer invites Nick Saban back to guide the Crimson Tide crew
Kalen DeBoer (L) | Nick Saban (R)

Taking over from a legend is no small feat, but new Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Kalen DeBoer is taking the challenge head-on. One of his toughest aims would be to ensure that Saban’s legacy built over the past 17 years remains intact.

“I think it’s all about being excited to be here,” DeBoer said at the SEC spring meetings. “What this program’s accomplished over not just Coach Saban’s time, but over many decades with great coaches, players, and staffs.”

Nick Saban's tenure at Alabama is legendary. In 17 seasons, he notched 201 wins, nine SEC titles and six national championships. While replicating such success is a huge task, DeBoer is keen on building upon this solid foundation.

He emphasized continuity and evolution while hell-bent on maintaining a strong connection with the past.

“Coach Saban knows he’s always got an open door to the program,” DeBoer said, highlighting his respect for his predecessor.

There’s a level of respect in his words for the past and vision for the future as Kalen DeBoer straightens his jacket to lead Alabama into its next chapter.

Also read: "It was strange not having Nick Saban": Ole Miss HC Lane Kiffin reflects on former HC's absence, credits Kirby Smart for leading SEC spring meeting

Kalen DeBoer couldn't talk with Nick Saban before Alabama job

When Nick Saban decided to step down, it created a vortex in college football coaching with everyone wondering who will get the coveted job. In came Kalen DeBoer, making the transition to the post-Saban era.

The new Alabama coach shared his thoughts on “The Ryen Russillo Podcast” about stepping into one of the most prestigious roles and his interaction with coach Nick Saban.

“I don't know if he told me specifically,” DeBoer mentioned. “But I did get a chance to speak with him just right around the time when I was offered the opportunity. I reached out to him and just wanted to have that feeling, that vibe.”

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DeBoer respects Saban’s consistent high-level performance and hails the meticulous planning behind Alabama’s success, including its facilities, structure and staff. Under DeBoer's leadership, Alabama’s football program is experiencing notable changes.

Unlike Saban's strict "one-voice" policy, DeBoer’s approach is more relaxed, allowing music during practice and permitting assistant coaches to speak to the media.

While the methods of Kalen DeBoer might cause some frustration if the team’s performance dips, Alabama is still expected to remain a strong contender.

Also read: “They aren't done with me” - Coach Nick Saban continues tryst with Alabama, but with a twist

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