Alabama offensive coordinator Tommy Rees, Florida State coach Mike Norvell and Washington coach Kalen DeBoer have emerged as the top three candidates to fill the Alabama coaching position following Nick Saban’s retirement, according to multiple sources familiar with the process. The athletics. Meetings with Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne are expected to wrap up by the end of the day Thursday, and an announcement could come as soon as Friday, sources said.
Rees, 31, completed his first season at Alabama in 2023. He previously coached at Notre Dame as quarterbacks coach from 2017-19, then as offensive coordinator the next three seasons. One of the youngest assistants in the Saban era, Reese oversaw the turnaround of Alabama’s 2023 offense and came up by name to find out if quarterback Jalen Milroe was going into the 2024 season.
Norvell, who rebuilt the Seminoles, was bought for just $4 million. He took over a swing schedule and went 13-1 in four seasons from three wins to five wins to 10 wins and a playoff berth. The 42-year-old Texan has never coached in the SEC like DeBoer. But Norvell has shown that he has a good understanding of how to operate the transfer portal and could be a good fit for the Tide. On Thursday, Norvell took to social media to celebrate the addition of Alabama offensive lineman Terrence Ferguson II from the NCAA transfer portal.
DeBoer had an impressive two seasons in Seattle. He took over a 4-8 team two years ago and led them to the national title game this season. DeBoer, 49, who won three NAIA national titles at Sioux Falls, has an impressive 104-12 career record. Over the past two years, the Huskies have gone 10-1 against top-25 teams. DeBoer is 12-2 all-time against ranked opponents.
“As head coaches, we all talk about being healthy right now, but he’s just living it up,” Washington State coach Jake Dickert said. The athletics last week. “He’s very cool, very collected. He can stay in every moment and push through it. Right, wrong or indifferent, he proves that coaching is important because most of the guys on that roster now were on that 4-8 team two years ago — and I know (quarterback Michael) Penix wasn’t there, but almost all the guys were still there. It’s incredible what he did to change those people. I know he has the respect of the entire coaching world.
The South Dakota native is an outstanding offensive mind and culture builder. He loves it in Washington, and his daughter will be a freshman on the Huskies softball team next year. He’s never worked in the SEC, which might give Alabama pause as the league is viewed as a different animal, but DeBoer recently hired Jimmy Sexton, Saban and several other SEC coaches as the same agent. Bama’s opening could lead to Sexton getting big raises for other coaches.