During his first month as Alabama’s head football coach, Kalen DeBoer has faced some difficult challenges with changes on both his roster and his coaching staff.

Friday, in an interview on Tide 100.9, Byrne seemed very pleased with the job that DeBoer has done so far.

"Coach DeBoer I can tell already is really smart and is really thoughtful," Byrne said Friday. "Sometimes in today's world we all want instant answers and responses, but in reality, he's very thoughtful, I can tell, in how he's approaching the staff, how he's approaching just managing the roster and connecting with the kids. I can tell you that that has gone very well. We're pleased about that."

Tide 100.9 · The Game - Greg Byrne - Friday, Feb 16, 2023

Replacing a coach like Nick Saban is no easy task, especially in today’s college athletics having to deal with NIL and the transfer portal. Other legendary coaches like Bear Bryant and John Wooden, when they retired, didn’t have the involvement of NIL and transfer windows to deal with. Because of the new rules in college sports, Bryne thinks there has “probably never been a transition like this in the history of college sports.”

“To go from Coach Saban and what he means to our university and college football and everything else between today, this is a really challenging transition. But I've been extremely impressed with his approach from the second he's gotten here and embracing our culture at Alabama, embracing Coach Saban," he outlined. "I think he's done a really nice job with it. Excited to watch him get out on the practice field with the team for spring ball, too."

Since the opening of the transfer portal in December, Alabama saw 17 players enter it before Nick Saban's retirement on January 10. Following Saban's retirement, Greg Byrne initiated a plan for the remaining staff to contact players and their families in an effort to retain them. Subsequently, after Saban's retirement, Alabama had 10 more players enter the portal, with nine of them making this decision after Kalen DeBoer was hired as the new head coach.

"One of the things we talked about, and I think it's been pretty public, a lot of what I said is we had a very hopefully thoughtful plan on the transition and trying to manage the roster, knowing that we wouldn't necessarily bat 1.000," Byrne said. "But knowing that one of the things we reminded the young men and their families was Alabama is a very special place, and that's not gonna change.”

"Obviously we've had some turnover on the roster. We didn't want to, necessarily, but if you would've said to me on the Wednesday that Coach Saban announced he was retiring that we'd end up with the numbers that we have, I'd say, you know what, I'd probably take that and be pleased with it. That doesn't mean we didn't work hard at it, because we did," he added.

So far, Byrne appears to be pleased with the work and foundation that DeBoer and his coaching staff have laid down in his first month as head football coach.

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