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Lily Caldwell (12) receives flowers for Senior Night
First Game On Witter
February 15, 2024

Alabama’s New Era: Navigating Saban’s Departure

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At 4 PM on Jan 11, Alabama Crimson Tide Coach Nick Saban announced his retirement from college football. This news sent shock through the sports and college football world. For the first time in almost 17 years the Crimson Tide had to find a new head coach. 

At 7 PM on Friday Jan 12, former Washington Huskies coach Kalen DeBoer was announced as the new head coach for the Tide, creating mass buzz around the sports world. 

 “Alabama could’ve got a better and bigger name coach but I still believe Alabama football continues to be one of the best teams in the country,” said college football fan and junior Markos Lagios.

 “I think Deboor is a great coach, and with Penix leaving he made the right choice to leave Washington so he can continue to win at Alabama.” Junior Will Parker said. 

There has been a flood of mixed opinions and criticism of the hiring, some good, some bad. Ultimately most have believed that this was a good hiring and should hopefully be able to bring Alabama success soon. I agree with Dickason and believe that Deboer is an amazing coach and with the available options Alabama made a great decision for their future. With the current situation in Washington the decision by Deboer to leave and join Alabama was great and happened at a great time for him. I believe that even though they may take a step back in skill with the coaching expertise that Deboer has they can still be able to continue the greatness of Alabama Football.

Ultimately the decision for coach Saban to step away from the sport is massive and will have a large effect. 

“I think Saban is unarguably the best CFB coach of all time, and this happening at the same time as Belichick and Carroll was a rollercoaster of events. I personally am excited to see if `Bama has continued success or if the school was really a product of just Saban. We have already seen some recruits decommit from the school, and I think this next year is going to be a massive “prove we still got it” year from Bama. Their entire future could all depend on this year.” senior Evan Dickason said. 

The impact on Saban’s departure will hold a heavy weight for years to come for many. His impact on Alabama but more specifically SEC football will be massive. Many top recruits and top transfers will not take a chance on a risky Alabama which I believe will lead to a more equal playing field for years to come until another “Super” program is solidified. I believe that in no way will Alabama be able to continue its dominance without Nick Saban but, with all the talent that they will be losing, other teams will be able to get better players and create better programs and they could become another Alabama at a different school like Georgia.

 “I think to be a player on that team right now, It feels kind of bad because they are going to miss Nick Saban and a lot of the reason why they are at Alabama is because of Nick Saban.” Lagios Said. Saban’s impact goes much further than his coaching abilities; many players and programs have been completely flipped because of this decision Alabama being at the forefront of this. I feel like all the players and new recruits have a feeling of being given up on and not getting a chance to show themselves especially with all the lights being taken away from Alabama, there is a feeling of helplessness and a disability to get the same advantage that former players have gotten.

The players who committed there will suffer the most from losing such a generational coach. For years Alabama has created draft stars and the loss of their all-time coach will damage their players a lot. Some people believe that this damage from Saban leaving should lead to players transferring and decommitting to go play for a better program while they still can. 

While others believe in the opposite and are hopeful that Alabama can stay great. “If I were a player, I would get ready to play and respect the coach. If I were a recruit, I would want to meet the coach and see if I am still interested,” Dickason said. 

Alabama may be going through a struggle now but it will soon end I believe and they will be back. While spirits are down now soon optimism will return to the school even after the departure of the greatest coach of all time. I firmly believe one day soon Alabama football will once more bring glory to the historic school and get over the massive road bump in Saban’s retirement. I believe that Deboer in the next 10 years will be able to implement his system and become the leader of this Alabama team but I do not believe that he will be able to do it in the next couple of years.

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About the Contributor
Ryan Ehteshami, Staff Writer
Ryan Ehteshami (11) is a staff writer for TPH. He loves keeping up with all sports, but especially basketball and football. Ryan is an avid rower and rows for the Oakland Strokes.
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    AlexFeb 8, 2024 at 1:02 pm

    No doubt Deboer has a more experienced, rather than less experienced staff, than Saban 2023. OC, wide receivers, DB coaches are a major upgrade

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