Crimson Tide fans finally got to hear their head coach speak as Kalen DeBoer was officially introduced as the 28th head football coach of Alabama on Saturday.
DeBoer delivered his first speech in front of a large crowd filled with media members as well as important figures for the Alabama program. Sitting in the front row of those important figures were Nick and Terry Saban.
At the moment, it's unknown what kind of role Saban will play in the future of the Alabama football team, but it's known that he will have some input after he mentioned that he would have an office in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
DeBoer started out his introductory press conference by thanking his family and the people who gave him this opportunity but saved his last thanks for Nick Saban.
“I could go on and on about the next person I need to thank, show appreciation to, love, and you all know who that is," he said. "Coach Saban, we just talked for the first time yesterday and I've been in his ear a couple of times already here. I can just feel in his voice. — you know what I’m talking about, you’ve seen it for many years. This place is special, especially to him, but especially to all of you because he's built it up to be. It’s not just about the championships.”
Having Saban as a tool, someone he can call and get advice from is massive for DeBoer as he gets accustomed to the SEC and Alabama football. DeBoer understands the importance of having Saban around and made sure to let him know that he is welcome.
“He’s the best in the business to ever do it," DeBoer emphasized. "I’m just going to make sure that’s all known, that’s how I feel. And 100% access to everything. I would be a fool if that wasn’t the case, I would be a fool. I’m going to ask him that he shows up and make sure he gives me at least one thing every day. I’m sure he’s going to have ten. I'm going to be good with that, but at least one thing that he sees, that we can get better at.”
While DeBoer may not be Saban, they do share similar goals and how those goals are achieved.
"When it comes to our goals I shared with you, it’s to win the SEC and a national championship," he outlined. "But how are we going to do that? We’re going to do that with class, we’re going to do with integrity and with academic excellence. This is my job, to make sure we uphold the standard that has been set here in Alabama, and continue to build on that. It’s about winning, but it’s also about a culture and I will share with our guys that, as we already have, a culture that is contagious.”
They also share a similar passion for building better men as football does not last forever. DeBoer spoke on what he hopes to accomplish off the field.
“And the last piece when it comes to developing players athletically, academically, socially and even spiritually," he outlined. "That being our focus as a staff, we in the end want to make sure that we’re building better men. We want to build better men because someday, football will be over. Someday real life will hit you in the face. And building better men in this time that we’re going, through this phase in their life, it is one of the most influential that they will have. It is a privilege and it is an honor to be someone in a position that can have that influence. I don’t take that lightly and I will surround myself with a staff that will be great husbands, great fathers, great people, provide a template for our great players that come through here to understand what it looks like to be a man."
DeBoer understands he is in a difficult situation replacing the greatest coach of all time, but he seems to have the mindset and qualities to get the job done. The introductory press conference was a winner, but you don’t win football games behind the podium, you win them on the field.
Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.