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Tommy Rees, Mike Norvell, Kalen DeBoer emerge as top Alabama candidates: Sources

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Tommy Rees, Mike Norvell, Kalen DeBoer emerge as top Alabama candidates: Sources
The Athletic has learned from numerous sources familiar with the process that Tommy Rees, the offensive coordinator for Alabama, Mike Norvell, the coach of Florida State, and Kalen DeBoer, the coach of Washington, are the top three candidates for the Alabama coaching post left empty by Nick Saban’s retirement.

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According to insiders, meetings with Greg Byrne, the athletic director of Alabama, are anticipated to conclude by the end of the day on Thursday, and an announcement may be made as early as Friday.

In 2023, Rees, 31, concluded his freshman year at Alabama. He was the quarterbacks coach at Notre Dame from 2017 to 19 and the offensive coordinator for the final three seasons of his tenure there, which ran from 2017 to 2022. During the Saban era, Rees was one of the youngest assistants. He was in charge of Alabama’s 2023 offense, which saw quarterback Jalen Milroe become a household name by the 2024 season.

Norvell’s buyout is limited to $4 million, notwithstanding his outstanding reconstruction of the Seminoles. After taking over a floundering club, he went from three wins to five wins to ten wins and, after going 13-1, to the verge of the playoffs in just four seasons. Like DeBoer, the 42-year-old Texan has never held a coaching position in the SEC. However, Norvell has demonstrated a strong command of the transfer portal and might be a valuable addition to the Tide. The NCAA transfer portal’s acquisition of Terrence Ferguson II, an offensive lineman for Alabama, was hailed by Norvell on social media on Thursday.

In his two seasons in Seattle, DeBoer has performed admirably. Two years ago, he took over a 4–8 squad, and this season, he led them to the national championship game. The 49-year-old DeBoer has an incredible career record of 104-12. He won three NAIA national titles at Sioux Falls. The Huskies have a 10-1 record against teams ranked in the top 25 over the last two years. DeBoer’s record versus rated opponents is 12-2 overall.

Jake Dickert, the head coach of Washington State, said to The Athletic last week, “As head coaches, we all talk about poise in the moment, but he just lives it.” He exudes calmness and composure. He has the endurance to persevere through every situation.

Whether it is true or not, he demonstrates the importance of coaching because nearly every player on the current roster was a member of the 4–8 squad two years prior. I know quarterback Michael Penix wasn’t, but the majority of the others were. That guy’s transformation is pretty amazing what he’s done. I am aware that the coaching community as a whole respects him.

The native of South Dakota is acultubuilder and offensive genius.His daughter will be a freshman on the Huskies softball team next year, and he is in love with Washington. DeBoer just hired Jimmy Sexton, the same agent as Saban and many SEC coaches. This may give some at Alabama pause, given he has never worked in the SEC, which is considered as a distinct animal. Sexton might bargain for significant pay increases for other coaches in light of the Bama opening.
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