Mar 6, 2024; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama head coach Kalen DeBoer watches his quarterbacks go through drills during practice of the Alabama Crimson Tide football team Wednesday.

Alabama trustees approve Kalen DeBoer’s 8-year deal

Kalen DeBoer is set to more than double his salary in his first year at Alabama after the school’s board of trustees approved the new head football coach’s eight-year, $87 million contract on Monday.

Details of the deal were confirmed, with DeBoer set to average $10.875 million annually, including a $10 million salary in 2024. Last year as head coach at Washington, he earned $4.2 million, according to USA Today.

The average annual value of his new contract makes DeBoer the fourth-highest-paid coach in the country, ESPN reported. His salary will peak at $11.75 million in 2031.

According to ESPN, the top-paid coaches in terms of average annual value are Clemson’s Dabo Swinney ($11.5 million), Georgia’s Kirby Smart and Southern California’s Lincoln Riley ($11 million-plus apiece), DeBoer, Texas’ Steve Sarkisian ($10.64 million) and Florida State’s Mike Norvell ($10.52 million).

The overall deal is 90 percent guaranteed should DeBoer be fired without cause. Should he take another job, he would have a buyout of $5 million this year, $4 million in 2025, $3 million in 2026 and nothing thereafter.

DeBoer, 49, was hired in January, shortly after Nick Saban retired following 17 years in charge of the Crimson Tide. Saban led Alabama to six national championships.

In two seasons at Washington, DeBoer registered a 25-3 record, and he led the Huskies to the national championship game last season. Including his stints at Division II Sioux Falls and Fresno State, he has a 104-12 overall record.

–Field Level Media

Jan 8, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Washington Huskies tight ends coach Nick Sheridan against the Michigan Wolverines during the 2024 College Football Playoff national championship game at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama names Nick Sheridan as OC, JaMarcus Shephard as co-OC

Alabama football made two personnel moves to replace one coach who didn’t stay for long.

Alabama named Nick Sheridan its offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach on Tuesday while announcing JaMarcus Shephard as the Crimson Tide’s new assistant head coach, co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach.

The hires come after Ryan Grubb, who originally signed on as Alabama’s offensive coordinator under new head coach Kalen DeBoer, accepted the same position with the Seattle Seahawks instead. Grubb worked for DeBoer as Washington’s offensive coordinator and chose to remain in Seattle.

“Nick and JaMarcus are both fantastic coaches, and we are excited to have them join us at Alabama,” DeBoer said in a statement. “They have experience in our offense, and they know what we are trying to accomplish on that side of the football. They both bring passion and enthusiasm to their work and have proven to be excellent teachers and recruiters at every stop of their careers.”

Sheridan, 35, recently was hired as the tight ends coach at Alabama after filling the same role for DeBoer at Washington in 2022-23. A former quarterback at Michigan, Sheridan’s only offensive coordinator experience came at Indiana in 2020-21.

Shephard, 40, is known for working with star wide receivers Rome Odunze and Ja’Lynn Polk at Washington, where he spent two years on DeBoer’s offensive coaching staff.

–Field Level Media

Nov 25, 2023; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Arizona Wildcats head coach Jedd Fisch against the Arizona State Sun Devils in the first half of the Territorial Cup at Mountain America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Washington hires Arizona coach Jedd Fisch to replace Kalen DeBoer

Arizona’s Jedd Fisch agreed Sunday to a reported seven-year, $54.25 million deal to become the new coach at Washington.

The school confirmed the hiring Sunday evening but didn’t divulge financial figures.

Fisch reportedly was slated to inform Arizona coaches and players during a team meeting that he is departing.

Fisch replaces Kalen DeBoer, who took the Alabama job on Friday. DeBoer guided the Huskies to the College Football Playoff national title game, where they lost to Michigan 34-13 on Monday.

Fisch, 47, coached the Wildcats to a 10-3 record and a No. 11 final ranking in the AP poll this season. Arizona finished the season with seven consecutive victories, including a 38-24 win over Oklahoma in the Alamo Bowl.

It marked just the fourth time the Wildcats won 10 or more games in a season.

Overall, Fisch went 16-21 in three seasons with the Wildcats. His first team went 1-11 in 2021 before he won five games the following year and made another jump this season.

Among Fisch’s past coaching stints was a one-year stay (2010) as the Seattle Seahawks’ quarterbacks coach. He was the New England Patriots’ quarterbacks coach for the 2020 season before Arizona hired him.

DeBoer went 25-3 in two seasons with the Huskies. Offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb was hopeful of being promoted to head coach but announced Saturday night that he “will not be the next head coach at the University of Washington.”

–Field Level Media

Mississippi State QB Will Rogers (2) passes against Ole Miss during the second half of the Egg Bowl at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Miss., Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023.

Reports: Washington QB Will Rogers back in transfer portal

Washington quarterback Will Rogers re-entered his name in the transfer portal Friday night after the departure of coach Kalen DeBoer, multiple media outlets reported.

Rogers previously departed Mississippi State and announced his transfer to Washington on Dec. 15. He was expected to be the starting quarterback in 2024 with the eligibility of star Michael Penix Jr. complete.

But the record-setting quarterback at Mississippi State apparently is examining his options after DeBoer left the Huskies to become coach of Alabama.

Rogers was with Washington on Monday during its 34-13 loss to Michigan in the College Football Playoff national title game. He was wearing a Huskies uniform with his name on the back and threw some passes pregame.

Though Rogers re-entered the portal, he still could decide to remain at Washington.

A four-year starter for his home-state Bulldogs, Rogers threw for 1,626 yards with 12 touchdowns and four interceptions in eight games in 2023. He missed four games due to an upper-body injury.

Rogers finished with a school-record 12,315 career passing yards at Mississippi State, a total that ranks second all-time in Southeastern Conference history to Georgia’s Aaron Murray (13,166 from 2010-13). Rogers’ total of 94 passing touchdowns ranks fourth in league history.

–Field Level Media

Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9), center, and his teammates watch as confetti begins to fall after winning the Sugar Bowl College Football Playoff semi-finals at the Ceasars Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, Jan. 1, 2024. The Huskies won the game over the Texas Longhorns 37-31.

No. 2 Washington hungry, expected to be in Houston

For the 28th and final time as head coach and quarterback, Kalen DeBoer and Michael Penix Jr. take the field on Monday exactly where they expected to be — with a chance to walk away national champions.

The combination of DeBoer and Penix Jr. was introduced to a wider audience on New Year’s Day with a Sugar Bowl shootout win over Texas that pushed their record in two seasons together to 25-2. They’re 9-0 against ranked teams.

“This guy was on another mission to make sure this happened,” DeBoer said of Washington reaching the championship game.

A sixth-year quarterback, Penix Jr. has 4,648 yards and 35 touchdowns in 2023. He was 29 of 38 for 430 yards and two touchdowns in the takedown of Texas.

‘The job’s not finished. It’s definitely going to take more,” said Penix Jr., the Heisman Trophy runner-up.

Penix Jr. isn’t a new name for Michigan, and the Wolverines know the coach, too. DeBoer passed through Indiana as offensive coordinator in 2019. His current QB, the Indiana transfer Penix Jr., beat the Wolverines in Bloomington, Ind., in 2020, before one of his four season-ending injuries (torn ACL). He was 30 of 50 for 342 yards with three TD passes against Michigan.

“He’s a super great player,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said Wednesday. “My impression of him at Indiana was the same. Big time arm talent. Tremendous presence. Sees the field really well. He’s so polished. Just an elite player.”

DeBoer doesn’t mind his offensive line being overlooked in the national narrative ahead of the game despite being recognized as the best in the country with the Joe Moore Award. Texas defensive lineman T’Vondre Sweat called UW’s line “nothing special.”

DeBoer continues to credit his front five with great execution of the team’s game plan. While Penix Jr. was pressured 20 times by Texas in the Sugar Bowl, he wasn’t sacked.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban said Michigan’s front seven set the tone for the Rose Bowl, causing quarterback Jalen Milroe to hesitate against some looks and speed up reads and throws on others.

Wolverines sophomore defensive tackle Mason Graham, defensive MVP of the win in Pasadena, stressed Michigan wants to avoid letting Penix have time to make plays in our outside of the pocket.

“Obviously Penix is a great player. I feel like they have a great offensive scheme, just a great group of guys on the offensive side of the ball that can really make plays happen, and he’s one of the ones — he is the one — that makes their offense go. It all starts with him,” Graham said.

–Field Level Media

Dec 1, 2023; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Washington Huskies head coach Kalen DeBoer reacts as players celebrate after the Huskies defeated the Oregon Ducks 31-34 to win the Pac-12 Championship at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Washington’s Kalen DeBoer voted AP Coach of Year

Kalen DeBoer was voted the 2023 Associated Press Coach of the Year on Tuesday after guiding Washington to a 13-0 record, the Pac-12 championship and a spot in the College Football Playoff.

The Huskies are 23-2 in two seasons under DeBoer, who received 30 of the 52 first-place votes and 113 total points in the balloting by the AP’s Top 25 poll voters.

Florida State’s Mike Norvell (57 points) finished second, followed by Missouri’s Eli Drinkwitz (38) and Jedd Fisch of Arizona (28).

“It’s all about the people around me. This is a team award,” DeBoer said told the AP. “When you win, I tell the players this, you win football games, you’re going to get recognized and more awards are going to get shared. I’m fortunate enough to kind of be the figurehead of our team and receive these cool awards. Just really blessed.”

DeBoer, 49, is the first Washington coach to win the award and the first Pac-12 coach honored since Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre in 2016.

Before inheriting a Huskies team that finished 4-8 in 2021, he was 67-3 with three NAIA championships at his alma mater Sioux Falls (2005-09) and 12-6 in two seasons at Fresno State (2020-21).

No. 2 Washington will face No. 3 Texas (12-1) in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day in New Orleans. The winner will play either No. 1 Michigan or No. 4 Alabama for the national championship on Jan. 8 in Houston.

–Field Level Media

Nov 19, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Washington Huskies head coach Kalen DeBoer stands on the sideline  during the third quarter against the Colorado Buffaloes at Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Washington coach Kalen DeBoer gets extension through ’28

First-year Washington coach Kalen DeBoer had his contract extended through the 2028 season on Tuesday.

DeBoer has guided the Huskies to a 9-2 record so far, establishing a program record for victories by a first-year coach. Washington is currently ranked 13th in the College Football Playoff rankings.

“My family and I have loved every minute of being here at this amazing institution in this world-class city,” DeBoer said in a statement. “We talk all the time about how it’s the people who set a place apart and Husky Nation is filled with some of the best we have ever encountered. We are incredibly grateful for the support we have received and are excited to continue to build on the amazing tradition of success we have here at the University of Washington.”

DeBoer initially received a five-year deal worth up to $16.5 million. According to reports, he will receive a $1 million raise for 2023 to at least $4.2 million and will get annual raises of $100,000.

The 48-year-old coach reportedly will receive $500,000 retention bonuses in March 2024 and March 2026 and a $1 million retention bonus if he is still the Huskies’ coach on March 15, 2028.

DeBoer will reportedly owe Washington $12 million if he leaves before Jan. 31, 2025. The buyout is lowered to $10 million if he exits before Jan. 31, 2026, and $7 million if he leaves before Jan. 31, 2027.

The Huskies look for their first 10-win season since 2018 when they visit Washington State in the Apple Cup on Saturday night.

“It is clear that Kalen is such an amazing fit at the University of Washington,” athletic director Jen Cohen said in a statement. “He has come in and made an incredible impact in every aspect of the program, our department, the University and the Seattle community. Kalen is an elite competitor who approaches each and every situation with the utmost class and integrity. We couldn’t be more excited that he and his family will be on Montlake for the foreseeable future leading these tremendous young men in our football program.”

DeBoer is in his third season as a major college head coach. He went 12-6 in two seasons at Fresno State prior to taking the Huskies’ job.

Earlier in his career, DeBoer went 67-3 and won three NAIA national championships during a stint at Sioux Falls from 2005-09.

–Field Level Media